(Wylie: stong-pa nyid
THL: tongpa nyi)
|Glossary of Buddhism|
|ព្រះធម៌ ឬ Concepts|
- ១ អត្ថន័យ
- ២ សម្រង់ពីឯកសារនៃពុទ្ធសាសនានិកាយថេរវាទ
- ៣ សម្រង់ពីឯកសារនៃពុទ្ធសាសនានិកាយមហាយាន
- ៤ សម្រង់ឯកសារផ្សេងៗ
- ៥ អត្ថន័យត្រូវគ្នានឹងវិទ្យាសាស្ត្រ
- ៦ ឯកសារយោង
ពាក្យថា សុញ្ញតា (suññatā) ឬ ជាសំស្ក្រឹតថា សូន្យតា (śūnyatā) ប្រែថា ភាពទទេ (emptiness), ភាពជារបស់សូន្យ គឺភាពមិនមានខ្លួន ចាត់ទុកថាជារបស់ខ្លួនមិនបាន ។ សុញ្ញតា មានអត្ថន័យ ៤ យ៉ាង គឺ ៖
១. សភាពប្រាសចាកភាពជាសត្វ បុគ្គល តួខ្លួន យើង គេ ជាពិសេស ភាវៈដែលខន្ធ ៥ ជាអនត្តា គឺ មិនមែនជាតួខ្លួន រហូតដល់ការប្រាសចាកគុណធម៌ផ្សេងៗ ដូចជា សេចក្តីទៀងត្រង់ ភាពស្រស់ស្អាត សេចក្តីសុខ ជាដើម ។ បើបរិយាយតាមបរមត្ថធម៌ ដូចជា ធាតុ អាយតនៈ និង បដិច្ចសមុប្បាទ ដែលបង្ហាញតែសភាវៈឲ្យឃើញការប្រាសចាកសត្វ បុគ្គល ដែលមានត្រឹមតែធម៌ ឬ ក្បួនធម៌ប៉ុណ្ណោះ ។
៣. លោកុត្តរមគ្គ បានឈ្មោះថា សុញ្ញតា ដោយហេតុផល ៣ ប្រការ គឺ ព្រោះលុះដោយបញ្ញា ដែលកំណត់ពិចារណាដល់អនត្តា មើលឃើញសភាវៈដែលសង្ខារគឺជាភាពទទេ រួចផុតពីសត្វ បុគ្គល ឬ តួខ្លួន ព្រោះប្រាសចាកកិលេស មានរាគៈជាដើម និង ព្រោះមានសុញ្ញតា គឺ និព្វាន ជាអារម្មណ៍ ។
៤. ភាពទទេ ដែលកើតពីការកំណត់ទុកនៅក្នុងចិត្ត ឬការធ្វើចិត្តឲ្យកើតអារម្មណ៍របស់ចិត្តនៅក្នុងការចម្រើនសមាបត្តិ ដូចជាអ្នកចម្រើនអាកិញ្ចញ្ញាយតនសមាបត្តិ កំណត់ចិត្តរហូតដល់ភាវៈទទេ ដែលគ្មានអ្វីសោះឡើយ ។
នៅក្នុងគម្ពីរព្រះត្រៃបិដក សំយុត្តនិកាយ (SN 35.85) ពេលនោះព្រះអានន្ទចូលទៅក្រាបទូលសួរព្រះដ៏មានព្រះភាគថា៖ "បានឮមកថាពិភពលោកនេះគឺទទេ ។ តើពាក្យថា ពិភពលោកនេះគឺទទេមានន័យយ៉ាងណាព្រះអង្គ ?" ព្រះពុទ្ធទ្រង់តបថា "ពិភពលោកគឺទទេ មិនមានខ្លួន ឬគ្មានអ្វីៗទាំងអស់ដែលមានខ្លួន ។ នាមរូប (forms)... ចក្ខុន្ទ្រិយ (eye-consciousness)... ចក្ខុន្ទ្រិយារម្មណ៍ (eye-contact) គឺជាភាពទទេ មិនមានខ្លួន ឬគ្មានអ្វីៗដែលមានខ្លួនសោះឡើយ ។
"ភាពឆ្លាតវៃ (intellect) គឺទទេ គ្មានខ្លួន ឬគ្មានអ្វីៗដែលមានខ្លួនទេ ។ គំនិត (ideas) ... ធម្មិន្ទ្រិយ (Intellect-consciousness)...ធម្មិន្ទ្រិយារម្មណ៍ (Intellect-contact) គឺទទេ ឬគ្មានអ្វីៗដែលមានខ្លួនសោះឡើយ ។ ដូច្នេះហើយទើបតថាគតនិយាយថា ពិភពលោកគឺទទេ ។"
ចូឡសុញ្ញតសូត្រ (Cula-suññata Sutta) (សៀវភៅលេខ ២៧ ទំព័រទី ៣ ដល់ ១៦)
 ខ្ញុំបានស្តាប់មកយ៉ាងនេះ ។ សម័យមួយ ព្រះមានព្រះភាគ ទ្រង់គង់ក្នុងប្រាសាទរបស់មិគារមាតា (ប្រាសាទរបស់នាងវិសាខា) ក្នុងបុព្វារាម ទៀបក្រុងសាវត្ថី ។ នៅរាត្រីនោះ ព្រះអានន្ទ បានចេញមកពីទីសមាធិស្ងាត់មួយ ហើយចូលគាល់ព្រះមានព្រះភាគ ។ លុះចូលទៅដល់ ក៏ថ្វាយបង្គំព្រះមានព្រះភាគ ហើយគង់ក្នុងទីសមគួរ ។ លុះព្រះអានន្ទ គង់ក្នុងទីសមគួរហើយ ក៏ទូលស្នើនឹងព្រះមានព្រះភាគដូច្នេះថា ៖ សម័យមួយ ព្រះមានព្រះភាគ ទ្រង់គង់ក្នុងនគរនាគារកៈ (Nagaraka) ដែលជានិគមរបស់ពួកសក្យៈ (Sakyans) ក្នុងសក្កជនបទ (Sakyan town) ។ នៅទីនោះ ខ្ញុំព្រះអង្គបានស្តាប់ក្នុងទីចំពោះព្រះភក្ត្រ, បានរៀនក្នុងទីចំពោះព្រះភក្ត្រ នៃព្រះមានព្រះភាគ ថា ៖ ម្នាលអានន្ទ "ឥឡូវនេះតថាគតតាំងនៅស៊ប់ក្នុងសុញ្ញតា " (I now remain fully in a dwelling of emptiness) ។ តើខ្ញុំព្រះអង្គបានស្តាប់ពាក្យនោះដោយប្រពៃ បានរៀនដោយប្រពៃ បានយកចិត្តទុកដាក់ដោយប្រពៃ បានចងចាំដោយប្រពៃហើយឬ ?”
 ព្រះមានព្រះភាគទ្រង់ត្រាស់ថា ៖ “អើអានន្ទ អ្នកបានស្តាប់ពាក្យនោះដោយប្រពៃ បានរៀនដោយប្រពៃ បានយកចិត្តទុកដាក់ដោយប្រពៃ បានចងចាំដោយប្រពៃហើយ ។ កាលពីដើមក្តី ឥឡូវនេះក្តី "តថាគតតាំងនៅស៊ប់ក្នុងសុញ្ញតា" (I remain fully in a dwelling of emptiness) ។ ការនោះមានឧបមាដូចជាប្រាសាទរបស់មិគារមាតានេះ ដែលឥតមានដំរី គោ សេះ លា, ឥតមានមាស និង ប្រាក់, ឥតមានការជួបជុំស្រី និង ប្រុស ។ នៅទីនេះ មានវត្ថុដែលមិនសូន្យ (non-emptiness) តែមួយគត់ គឺសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ដោយសារតែវត្តមានភិក្ខុសង្ឃ ។ ពេលភិក្ខុមួយរូបមិនខ្វល់យកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើគាមសញ្ញា (ការសម្គាល់ថាស្រុក), មិនខ្វល់យកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើមនុស្សសញ្ញា (ការសម្គាល់ថាមនុស្ស), ភិក្ខុនោះយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យអរញ្ញសញ្ញា (perception of wilderness) ។ ចិត្តរបស់ភិក្ខុរូបនោះសប្បាយ ស្កប់ តាំងនៅ ជឿស៊ប់ ក្នុងអរញ្ញសញ្ញា ។
ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ៖ “ការរំខាន (disturbance) ទាំងឡាយ ដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន ព្រោះអាស្រ័យគាមសញ្ញា មិនមានវត្តមានក្នុងទីនេះទេ ។ ការរំខានទាំងឡាយ ដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន ព្រោះអាស្រ័យមនុស្សសញ្ញា មិនមានក្នុងទីនេះទេ ។ ការរំខានបន្តិចបន្តួចដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន គឺជាសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យអរញ្ញសញ្ញា (wilderness) ។ ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ៖ របៀបសម្គាល់សញ្ញានេះ គឺគ្មានគាមសញ្ញាទេ ។ របៀបសម្គាល់នេះ គឺគ្មានមនុស្សសញ្ញា ។ មានវត្ថុមិនសូន្យ (non-emptiness) តែមួយប៉ុណ្ណោះ គឺសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យអរញ្ញសញ្ញា (wilderness) ។ ដូច្នេះ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះចាត់ទុក ការរំខាននោះថាសូន្យ នូវអ្វីដែលគ្មាននៅត្រង់នោះ ។ ភិក្ខុ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខានដែលនៅសេសសល់ កំពុងមានវត្តមាន ៖ “មានរបស់នេះ” ។ របស់នេះ (ការឈានចូលក្នុងសុញ្ញតារបស់ភិក្ខុនោះ) ស្របនឹងសេចក្តីពិត មិនប្រែប្រួលអត្ថន័យ និង បរិសុទ្ធស្អាត ។
បឋវីសញ្ញា (Perception of Earth)
 ម្នាលអានន្ទ លើសពីនោះទៀត ដោយមិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើមនុស្សសញ្ញា, មិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើអរញ្ញសញ្ញា (perception of wilderness), ភិក្ខុយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យបឋវីសញ្ញា (ការសម្គាល់ថាដី) ។ ចិត្តរបស់ភិក្ខុនោះសប្បាយ ជ្រះថ្លា តាំងនៅ ជឿស៊ប់ ក្នុងបឋវីសញ្ញា (perception of earth) ។ ប្រៀបដូចជាស្បែកគោ ដែលគេទាញលាតសន្ធឹងឲ្យបាត់រួញ ដោយភ្ជាប់នឹងស្នឹងមួយរយ ភិក្ខុមិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់ចំពោះទីខ្ពស់និងទីទាប, ទន្លេក្នុងជ្រោះជ្រៅ, ផ្លូវមានដង្គត់និងបន្លាច្រូងច្រាង, ទួលមានថ្មរដិបរដុប នៅលើផែនដីនេះ, ភិក្ខុយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ដែលអាស្រ័យលើបឋវីសញ្ញា (perception of earth) ។ ចិត្តរបស់ភិក្ខុនោះសប្បាយ ជ្រះថ្លា តាំងនៅ ជឿស៊ប់ ក្នុងបឋវីសញ្ញា ។
ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខានដែលនៅមានវត្តមានព្រោះអាស្រ័យមនុស្សសញ្ញា (perception of human) មិនមានវត្តមានទេ ។ ការរំខានដែលនៅមានវត្តមានព្រោះអាស្រ័យអរញ្ញសញ្ញា (wilderness) មិនមានវត្តមានទេ ។ ការរំខានបន្តិចបន្តួចដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន គឺសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យបឋវីសញ្ញា (perception of earth) ។ ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ៖ របៀបសម្គាល់សញ្ញានេះ គឺគ្មានមនុស្សសញ្ញាទេ ។ របៀបសម្គាល់នេះ គឺគ្មានអរញ្ញសញ្ញាទេ ។ មានវត្ថុមិនសូន្យ (non-emptiness) តែមួយប៉ុណ្ណោះ គឺសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យបឋវីសញ្ញា (perception of earth) ។ ដូច្នេះ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះចាត់ទុកការរំខាននោះថាសូន្យ នូវអ្វីដែលគ្មាននៅត្រង់នោះ ។ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខានដែលនៅសេសសល់ កំពុងមានវត្តមាន ៖ “មានរបស់នេះ” ។ របស់នេះ (ការឈានចូលក្នុងសុញ្ញតារបស់ភិក្ខុនោះ) ស្របនឹងសេចក្តីពិត មិនប្រែប្រួលអត្ថន័យ និង បរិសុទ្ធស្អាត ។
អាកាសានញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (Perception of Space)
 ម្នាលអានន្ទ លើសពីនោះទៀត ដោយមិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើអរញ្ញសញ្ញា (perception of wilderness), មិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើបថវីសញ្ញា (perception of earth) ភិក្ខុយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យអាកាសានញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (ការសម្គាល់ថាអាកាស) ។ ចិត្តរបស់ភិក្ខុនោះសប្បាយ ជ្រះថ្លា តាំងនៅ ជឿស៊ប់ ក្នុង អាកាសានញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of space) ។ ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខានដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន ព្រោះអាស្រ័យអរញសញ្ញា (perception of wilderness) មិនមានវត្តមានទេ ។ ការរំខានដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន ព្រោះអាស្រ័យបឋវីសញ្ញា (perception of earth) មិនមានវត្តមានទេ ។ ការរំខានបន្តិចបន្តួច ដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន គឺសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យ អាកាសានញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of space) ។ ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ៖ របៀបសម្គាល់សញ្ញានេះ គឺគ្មានអរញ្ញសញ្ញាទេ ។ របៀបសម្គាល់នេះគឺគ្មានបឋវីសញ្ញាទេ ។ មានវត្ថុមិនសូន្យ (non-emptiness) តែមួយប៉ុណ្ណោះ គឺសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យ អាកាសានញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of space) ។ ដូច្នេះ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះចាត់ទុក ការរំខាននោះថា គ្មានអ្វីដែលគ្មាននៅត្រង់នោះ ។ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខានដែលនៅសេសសល់ កំពុងមានវត្តមាន ៖ “មានរបស់នេះ” ។ របស់នេះ (ការឈានចូលក្នុងសុញ្ញតារបស់ភិក្ខុនោះ) ស្របនឹងសេចក្តីពិត មិនប្រែប្រួលអត្ថន័យ និង បរិសុទ្ធស្អាត ។
វិញ្ញាណញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (Perception of Consciousness)
 ម្នាលអានន្ទ លើសពីនោះទៀត ដោយមិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើបឋវីសញ្ញា (perception of earth), មិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើ អាកាសានញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of space) ភិក្ខុយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យវិញ្ញាណញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (ការសម្គាល់ថាវិញ្ញាណ) ។ ចិត្តរបស់ភិក្ខុនោះសប្បាយ ជ្រះថ្លា តាំងនៅ ជឿស៊ប់ ក្នុង វិញ្ញាណញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា ។ ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខានដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន ព្រោះអាស្រ័យបឋវីសញ្ញា (perception of earth) មិនមានវត្តមានទេ ។ ការរំខាន ដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន ព្រោះអាស្រ័យអាកាសានញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of space) មិនមានវត្តមានទេ ។ ការរំខានបន្តិចបន្តួច ដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន គឺសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យ វិញ្ញាណញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of Consciousness) ។ ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ៖ របៀបសម្គាល់សញ្ញានេះ គឺគ្មានបឋវីសញ្ញាទេ ។ របៀបសម្គាល់នេះគឺគ្មាន អាកាសានញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា ទេ ។ មានវត្ថុមិនសូន្យ (non-emptiness) តែមួយប៉ុណ្ណោះ គឺសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យវិញ្ញាណញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of Consciousness) ។ ដូច្នេះ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះចាត់ទុកការរំខាននោះថាសូន្យ នូវអ្វីដែលគ្មាននៅត្រង់នោះ ។ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខានដែលនៅសេសសល់ កំពុងមានវត្តមាន ៖ “មានរបស់នេះ” ។ របស់នេះ (ការឈានចូលក្នុងសុញ្ញតារបស់ភិក្ខុនោះ) ស្របនឹងសេចក្តីពិត មិនប្រែប្រួលអត្ថន័យ និង បរិសុទ្ធស្អាត ។
 ម្នាលអានន្ទ លើសពីនោះទៀត ដោយមិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើ អាកាសានញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of space), មិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើ វិញ្ញាណញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of consciousness) ភិក្ខុយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យ អាកិញ្ចញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (ការសម្គាល់ថាភាពទទេ) ។ ចិត្តរបស់ភិក្ខុនោះសប្បាយ ជ្រះថ្លា តាំងនៅ ជឿស៊ប់ ក្នុង អាកិញ្ចញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of nothingness) ។
ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខាន ដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន ព្រោះអាស្រ័យ អាកាសានញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of space) មិនមានវត្តមានទេ ។ ការរំខានដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន ព្រោះអាស្រ័យវិញ្ញាណញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of consciousness) មិនមានវត្តមានទេ ។ ការរំខានបន្តិចបន្តួចដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន គឺសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យអាកិញ្ចញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of nothingness) ។ ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ៖ របៀបសម្គាល់សញ្ញានេះ គឺគ្មាន អាកាសានញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា ទេ ។ របៀបសម្គាល់នេះគឺ គ្មានវិញ្ញាណញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា ទេ ។ មានវត្ថុមិនសូន្យ (non-emptiness) តែមួយប៉ុណ្ណោះ ពោលគឺសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យអាកិញ្ចញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of nothingness) ។ ដូច្នេះ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះចាត់ទុកការរំខាននោះថាសូន្យ នូវអ្វីដែលគ្មាននៅត្រង់នោះ ។ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខានដែលនៅសេសសល់ កំពុងមានវត្តមាន ៖ “មានរបស់នេះ” ។ របស់នេះ (ការឈានចូលក្នុងសុញ្ញតារបស់ភិក្ខុនោះ) ស្របនឹងសេចក្តីពិត មិនប្រែប្រួលអត្ថន័យ និង បរិសុទ្ធស្អាត ។
នេវសញ្ញានាសញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (Neither Perception nor Non-Perception)
 ម្នាលអានន្ទ លើសពីនោះទៀត ដោយមិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើ វិញ្ញាណញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of consciousness), មិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើ អាកិញ្ចញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of nothingness) ភិក្ខុយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យ នេវសញ្ញានាសញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (មិនខ្វល់ចំពោះការមានសញ្ញា ឬ គ្មានសញ្ញា) ។ ចិត្តរបស់ភិក្ខុនោះសប្បាយ ជ្រះថ្លា តាំងនៅ ជឿស៊ប់ ក្នុង នេវសញ្ញានាសញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (dimension of neither perception nor non-perception) ។
ភិក្ខុនោះដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខានដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន ព្រោះអាស្រ័យ វិញ្ញាណញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of consciousness) មិនមានវត្តមានទេ ។ ការរំខានដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន ព្រោះអាស្រ័យអាកិញ្ចញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of nothingness) មិនមានវត្តមានទេ ។ ការរំខានបន្តិចបន្តួចដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន គឺសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យនេវសញ្ញានាសញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (dimension of neither perception nor non-perception) ។ ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ៖ របៀបសម្គាល់សញ្ញានេះ គឺគ្មានវិញ្ញាណញ្ចាយតនសញ្ញា ទេ ។ របៀបសម្គាល់នេះគឺគ្មានអាកិញ្ចញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា ទេ ។ មានវត្ថុមិនសូន្យ (non-emptiness) តែមួយប៉ុណ្ណោះ គឺសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យ នេវសញ្ញានាសញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (neither perception nor non-perception) ។ ដូច្នេះ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះចាត់ទុកការរំខាននោះថាសូន្យ នូវអ្វីដែលគ្មាននៅត្រង់នោះ ។ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខានដែលនៅសេសសល់ កំពុងមានវត្តមាន ៖ “មានរបស់នេះ” ។ របស់នេះ (ការឈានចូលក្នុងសុញ្ញតារបស់ភិក្ខុនោះ) ស្របនឹងសេចក្តីពិត មិនប្រែប្រួលអត្ថន័យ និង បរិសុទ្ធស្អាត ។
អនិមិត្តចេតោសមាធិ (Theme-Less Concentration)
 ម្នាលអានន្ទ លើសពីនោះទៀត ដោយមិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើ អាកិញ្ចញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of nothingness), មិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើ នេវសញ្ញានាសញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (neither perception nor non-perception) ភិក្ខុយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើសភាវៈតែមួយ (singleness) អាស្រ័យដោយ អនិមិត្តចេតោសមាធិ (សមាធិចិត្តដែលគ្មាននិមិត្ត) ។ ចិត្តរបស់ភិក្ខុនោះសប្បាយ ជ្រះថ្លា តាំងនៅ ជឿស៊ប់ ក្នុង អនិមិត្តចេតោសមាធិ (Theme-Less Concentration of awareness) ។
ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខានដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន ព្រោះអាស្រ័យអាកិញ្ចញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of nothingness) មិនមានវត្តមានទេ ។ ការរំខានដែលនៅមានវត្តមាន ព្រោះអាស្រ័យនេវសញ្ញានាសញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (neither perception nor non-perception) មិនមានវត្តមានទេ ។ ហើយមាននៅសល់តែការរំខាន (disturbance) បន្តិចបន្តួច ដែលភ្ជាប់ជាមួយនឹងសឡាយតនៈ (six sensory spheres) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យកាយនេះ ដែលមានជីវិតជាបច្ច័យ (condition) របស់វា ។ ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ៖ របៀបសម្គាល់សញ្ញានេះគឺ គ្មានអាកិញ្ចញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា ទេ ។ របៀបសម្គាល់នេះ គឺគ្មាន នេវសញ្ញានាសញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា ទេ ។ មានវត្ថុមិនសូន្យ (non-emptiness) តែមួយប៉ុណ្ណោះ ដែលភ្ជាប់ជាមួយនឹងសឡាយតនៈ (six sensory spheres) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យកាយនេះ ដែលមានជីវិតជាបច្ច័យ (condition) របស់វា ។ ដូច្នេះ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះចាត់ទុកការរំខាននោះថាសូន្យ នូវអ្វីដែលគ្មាននៅត្រង់នោះ ។ ការរំខានដែលនៅសេសសល់ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះដឹងច្បាស់ថាវាកំពុងមានវត្តមាន ៖ “មានរបស់នេះ” ។ របស់នេះ (ការឈានចូលក្នុងសុញ្ញតារបស់ភិក្ខុនោះ) ស្របនឹងសេចក្តីពិត មិនប្រែប្រួលអត្ថន័យ និង បរិសុទ្ធស្អាត ។
 ម្នាលអានន្ទ លើសពីនោះទៀត ដោយមិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើអាកិញ្ចញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (perception of nothingness) មិនយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើនេវសញ្ញានាសញ្ញាយតនសញ្ញា (neither perception nor non-perception) ភិក្ខុរូបនោះយកចិត្តទុកដាក់លើសភាវៈតែមួយ ព្រោះអាស្រ័យអនិមិត្តចេតោសមាធិ(1) (theme-less concentration of awareness) ។ ចិត្តរបស់ភិក្ខុនោះសប្បាយ ជ្រះថ្លា តាំងនៅ ជឿស៊ប់ ក្នុងអនិមិត្តចេតោសមាធិ (theme-less concentration of awareness របស់វា។
ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា អនិមិត្តចេតោសមាធិ (theme-less concentration of awareness) នេះ អាត្មាអញបានតាក់តែង (fabricated) ហើយ បានរិះគិតសន្សំ (fashioned) ហើយ ។ ភិក្ខុនោះដឹងទៀតថា អ្វីៗដែលបានតាក់តែងហើយ បានរិះគិតសន្សំហើយ គឺមិននៅស្ថិតស្ថេរ (inconstant) ហើយត្រូវរលត់រលាយ (cessation) ជាធម្មតា ។ ពេលភិក្ខុរូបនោះដឹងយ៉ាងនេះ ឃើញយ៉ាងនេះហើយ ចិត្តរបស់ភិក្ខុនោះក៏រួចចាកកាមាសវៈ (effluent of sensuality), រួចចាកភវាសវៈ (effluent of becoming) និង រួចចាកអវិជ្ជាសវៈ (effluent of ignorance) ។ ពេលចិត្តរួចស្រឡះ (release) ហើយ ញាណ (knowledge) ក៏កើតឡើង ភិក្ខុក៏បន្លឺថា "អាត្មាអញមានចិត្តរួចស្រឡះហើយ” (released) ។ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះដឹងច្បាស់ថា ៖ ជាតិ (birth) ឈប់មានទៀតហើយ, អាត្មាអញបានបំពេញចប់ហើយនូវព្រហ្មចារ្យ (holy life), អាត្មាអញក៏បានធ្វើកិច្ចដែលត្រូវធ្វើស្រេចបាច់ហើយ ។ គ្មានកិច្ចដទៃសម្រាប់លោកិយនេះទៀតទេ ។
ភិក្ខុនោះដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខាននៅមាន ព្រោះអាស្រ័យកាមាសវៈ (effluent of sensuality) … ភវាសវៈ (effluent of becoming) … អវិជ្ជាសវៈ (effluent of ignorance) មិនមានទៀតទេ ។ នៅមានតែការរំខានបន្តិចបន្តួច ដែលភ្ជាប់នឹងសឡាយតនៈ ព្រោះអាស្រ័យកាយនេះ ដែលមានជីវិតជាបច្ច័យ (condition) របស់វា ។ ភិក្ខុនោះ ដឹងច្បាស់ថា ៖ របៀបសម្គាល់សញ្ញានេះ គឺគ្មានកាមាសវៈ … ភវាសវៈ … អវិជ្ជាសវៈ ទេ ។ មានវត្ថុមិនសូន្យ (non-emptiness) តែមួយប៉ុណ្ណោះ ដែលភ្ជាប់ជាមួយនឹងសឡាយតនៈ (six sensory spheres) ព្រោះអាស្រ័យកាយនេះ ដែលមានជីវិតជាបច្ច័យ (condition) របស់វា ។ ដូច្នេះ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះចាត់ទុកការរំខាននោះថាសូន្យ នូវអ្វីដែលគ្មាននៅត្រង់នោះ ។ ភិក្ខុរូបនោះដឹងច្បាស់ថា ការរំខានដែលនៅសេសសល់ កំពុងមានវត្តមាន ដោយដឹងច្បាស់ថា “មានរបស់នេះ” ។ របស់នេះ (ការឈានចូលក្នុងសុញ្ញតារបស់ភិក្ខុនោះ) ស្របនឹងសេចក្តីពិត មិនប្រែប្រួលអត្ថន័យ និង បរិសុទ្ធស្អាត ។
 ម្នាលអានន្ទ ក្នុងអតីតកាល សមណៈ (contemplatives) ឬ ព្រាហ្មណ៍ (priests) ណាមួយ បានចូលកាន់ហើយស្ថិតនៅក្នុងសុញ្ញតា (emptiness) ណាមួយ ដែលបរិសុទ្ធ ប្រសើរ និង ក្រៃលែង, ពួកគេបានចូលកាន់ និង ស្ថិតនៅក្នុងសុញ្ញតាដដែលនេះ ដែលបរិសុទ្ធ ប្រសើរ និង ក្រៃលែង ។ ក្នុងអនាគតកាល ពួកសមណៈឬព្រាហ្មណ៍ណាមួយ នឹងចូលកាន់ហើយស្ថិតនៅក្នុងសុញ្ញតាណាមួយ ដែលបរិសុទ្ធ ប្រសើរ និង ក្រៃលែង, ពួកគេនឹងចូលកាន់សុញ្ញតាដដែលនេះ ដែលបរិសុទ្ធ ប្រសើរ និង ក្រៃលែង ។ ក្នុងបច្ចុប្បន្នកាល ពួកសមណៈឬព្រាហ្មណ៍ណាមួយ ចូលកាន់ហើយស្ថិតនៅក្នុងសុញ្ញតា ដែលបរិសុទ្ធ ប្រសើរ និង ក្រៃលែង, ពួកគេចូលកាន់ និង ស្ថិតនៅក្នុងសុញ្ញតាដដែលនេះ ដែលបរិសុទ្ធ ប្រសើរ និង ក្រៃលែង ។
ម្នាលអានន្ទ ហេតុនោះ ក្នុងសាសនានេះ ភិក្ខុត្រូវគិតថា យើងរាល់គ្នា នឹងចូលកាន់សុញ្ញតៈ ដ៏បរិសុទ្ធ ប្រសើរក្រៃលែង ម្នាលអានន្ទ អ្នកទាំងឡាយ គប្បីសិក្សាយ៉ាងនេះឯង ។ លុះព្រះមានប្រភាគ បានត្រាស់ព្រះសូត្រនេះចប់ហើយ ព្រះអានន្ទមានអាយុ ក៏មានចិត្តត្រេកអរ រីករាយនឹងភាសិតរបស់ព្រះមានព្រះភាគ ដោយប្រការដូច្នេះឯង ។
(1) សំគាល់៖ អនិមិត្តចេតោសមាធិ គឺជាសមាធិចិត្តដែលប្រកបដោយវិបស្សនា ។ ព្រោះសមាធិនោះប្រាសចាកនិមិត្ត មានសេចក្តីមិនទៀងជាដើម បានជាលោកហៅថាអនិមិត្ត ។
(ចប់ចូឡសុញ្ញតសូត្រ ទី ១)
ការបកស្រាយសុញ្ញតាដោយ ភិក្ខុ ថានីស្សារោ(Thanissaro Bhikkhu)[កែប្រែ]
នាមដើម Geoffrey DeGraff (1949 - Present)
សុញ្ញតា (Emptiness) ឬសូន្យតា ឬភាពទទេ គឺជាវិធីនៃការរៀបចំ, ការសម្គាល់អត្តសញ្ញាណ និង ការបកប្រែព័ត៌មានទទួលបានដោយឥន្ទ្រីយ៍ទាំង ៦ (sensory information) ឬហៅម្យ៉ាងទៀតថាវិធីនៃសញ្ញាណក្ខន្ធ (mode of perception) ដើម្បីឈានទៅដល់ការយល់ច្បាស់បរិស្ថានជុំវិញខ្លួន ឬន័យម្យ៉ាងទៀតថា សុញ្ញតា គឺជារបៀបសំលឹងមើល ឬពិចារណាបទពិសោធន៍ (experience) ទាំងឡាយ ។ សុញ្ញតាមិននាំយកអ្វីមកដាក់បន្ថែម ឬ ដកយកអ្វីចេញពីទិន្នន័យដើម (raw data) នៃព្រឹត្តិការណ៍ខាងរូបកាយ ឬ ចិត្តឡើយ (physical and mental events) ។ អ្នកសំលឹងមើលព្រឹត្តិការណ៍ (events) ទាំងនោះដោយចិត្ត (mind) និង ឥន្ទ្រីយ៍ (senses) ដោយគ្មានគំនិត (thought) គិតទុកថាតើមានអ្វីលាក់នៅពីខាងក្រោយព្រឹត្តិការណ៍ទាំងនោះឡើយ ។
របៀបគិតនេះមានឈ្មោះថា សុញ្ញតា ឬភាពទទេ (emptiness) ព្រោះថាវាមានភាពទទេ ឬគ្មានការគិតទុកជាមុន (presuppositions) ទាំងឡាយ ដែលជាទូទៅយើងនាំយកទៅបូកបន្ថែមលើបទពិសោធន៍ទាំងឡាយ ដើម្បីយល់ច្បាស់អំពីបទពិសោធន៍ទាំងនោះ ឧទាហរណ៍នៃគំនិតគិតទុកជាមុនមានដូចជារឿងរ៉ាវ (stories) និង ទិដ្ឋិឬទស្សនៈទាំងឡាយអំពីពិភពលោក (world-views) ដែលយើងច្នៃបង្កើតឡើង ដើម្បីពន្យល់ថាតើយើងជានរណា និង ពិភពឬទីតាំងដែលយើងកំពុងស្ថិតនៅ ។ ទោះបីរឿងរ៉ាវ និង ទស្សនៈទាំងនោះមានប្រយោជន៍រៀងខ្លួនរបស់វាក៏ដោយ ក៏ព្រះពុទ្ធបានរកឃើញថារឿងរ៉ាវនិង ទិដ្ឋិឬទស្សនៈទាំងនោះ បង្កើតឲ្យមានការងឿងឆ្ងល់បន្ថែមជាច្រើនទៀត ឧទាហរណ៍ដូចជាចម្ងល់អំពីអត្តសញ្ញាណពិត (true identify) របស់យើង និង សេចក្តីពិត (reality) នៃពិភពខាងក្រៅ ដែលជាកត្តាបង្វែរការចាប់អារម្មណ៍របស់យើង ចេញឆ្ងាយពីការធ្វើពិសោធន៍ផ្ទាល់ (direct experience) មួយដើម្បីស្វែងរកឲ្យឃើញថា តើព្រឹត្តិការណ៍ទាំងនោះជះឥទ្ធិពលលើគ្នាយ៉ាងណា នៅក្នុងបច្ចុប្បន្នភ្លាមៗ (immediate present) ។ ដូច្នេះយើងអាចនិយាយថា រឿងរ៉ាវ និង ទិដ្ឋិឬទស្សនៈទាំងនោះជ្រៀតជ្រែកឬរំខានចិត្តរបស់យើង
នៅពេលយើងព្យាយាមស្វែងយល់ និង ដោះស្រាយបញ្ហាទុក្ខ (suffering) ។ សូមលើកយកឧទាហរណ៍ជាក់ស្តែងមួយ ឧបមាថានៅពេលអ្នកកំពុងអង្គុយប្រតិបត្តិសមាធិពិចារណាលើវេទនាក្ខន្ធ (feeling) មួយ ពោលគឺកំហឹង ដែលកំពុងកើតឡើងនៅក្នុងចិត្តអ្នកចំពោះម្តាយរបស់អ្នក ។ មួយរំពេចនោះ ប្រតិកម្មរបស់ចិត្តគឺរកឲ្យឃើញឬសម្គាល់កំហឹងនោះថាជាកំហឹង (anger) របស់ “អញ” ឬ និយាយថា “អញកំពុង” ខឹង ។ បន្ទាប់មក ប្រតិកម្មនៃចិត្តនោះក៏បំប៉ោងពង្រីកវេទនាក្ខន្ធអ្នកឲ្យកាន់តែរីកធំឡើង ដោយវាលួចបន្លំចូលទៅក្នុងរឿងរ៉ាវនៃទំនាក់ទំនងរបស់អ្នក ជាមួយនឹងម្តាយអ្នក ឬ វាលួចចូលទៅក្នុងទិដ្ឋិទូទៅរបស់អ្នកអំពីពេលវេលា និង ទីតាំងមួយ ដែលអ្នកខិតខំបកស្រាយឬការពារខ្លួនអ្នកថាការដែលអ្នកខឹងនឹងម្តាយអ្នកនោះ គឺជាការត្រឹមត្រូវ ។ តាមទស្សនៈរបស់ព្រះពុទ្ធ បញ្ហាជាប់នឹងរឿងទាំងអស់នេះ គឺថារឿងរ៉ាវ និងទិដ្ឋិទាំងនេះនាំទៅដល់សេចក្តីទុក្ខដ៏ច្រើនអនេក ។ ពេលអ្នកចូលខ្លួនទៅពាក់ព័ន្ធជាមួយនឹងរឿងរ៉ាវ ឬទិដ្ឋិទាំងនោះច្រើនកាលណា ពេលនោះអ្នកនឹងត្រូវបានរំខាន ឬបង្វែរចិត្តឲ្យចាកចេញឆ្ងាយពីការពិចារណាឃើញមូលហេតុពិតនៃសេចក្តីទុក្ខ ឬនិយាយម្យ៉ាងទៀតថា អ្នកបង្កើតស្លាកសញ្ញាថា “អញ” ឬ “របស់អញ” ដ៏ច្រើនសន្ធឹក ដែលវាជាគ្រឿងបង្វិលកង់នៃដំណើរការទាំងមូលឲ្យវិលទៅមុខ ។ ជាលទ្ធផល អ្នកមិនអាចរកឃើញរបៀបស្រាវរកមូលហេតុពិត ដើម្បីរំលត់សេចក្តីទុក្ខនោះឡើយ ។
ទោះជាយ៉ាងណាក៏ដោយ ប្រសិនបើអ្នកអាចអនុវត្តវិធីពិចារណាតាមបែបសុញ្ញតា (emptiness mode) ពោលគឺការមិនយកចិត្តរបស់អ្នកទៅពិចារណាលើកំហឹងនោះ ឬ មិនប្រតិកម្មតបនឹងកំហឹងនោះ ប៉ុន្តែអ្នកគ្រាន់តែប្រើចិត្តរបស់អ្នក តាមមើលកំហឹងនោះ ដោយចាត់ទុកវាថាជាព្រឹត្តិការណ៍ជាខ្សែចង្វាក់ (គឺជាចង្កោមនៃព្រឹត្តិការណ៍ និងបង្កឡើងដោយព្រឹត្តិការណ៍ទាំងឡាយ) ពេលនោះអ្នកអាចមើលឃើញថាកំហឹង គឺជាភាពទទេឬសូន្យ ដែលគ្មានតម្លៃគួរឲ្យអ្នកត្រូវចំណាយពេល ដើម្បីសម្គាល់ថាវាជារបស់អ្នក ឬគួរឲ្យអ្នកយកវាមកទុក ជាថាជាកម្មសិទ្ធិរបស់អ្នកសោះ ។ ខណៈពេលដែលអ្នកហ្វឹកហាត់អនុវត្តវិធីពិចារណាតាមបែបសុញ្ញតាបានយ៉ាងស្ទាត់ជំនាញ ដែលអ្នកអាចយកទៅប្រើបានគ្រប់ពេលហើយនោះ អ្នកនឹងមើលឃើញថាសេចក្តីពិតនេះ មិនត្រឹមតែអាចគ្រប់គ្រងសង្វេគធំៗ (gross emotions) ដូចជាកំហឹងប៉ុណ្ណោះទេ ប៉ុន្តែវាថែមទាំងជួយអ្នកឲ្យអាចគ្រប់គ្រងព្រឹត្តិការណ៍ដ៏តូចល្អិតជាច្រើន នៅក្នុងវិស័យនៃការពិសោធន៍ផងដែរ ។ នេះគឺជាឥន្ទ្រីយ៍ ដែលនៅក្នុងនោះអ្វីៗគ្រប់យ៉ាងគឺជាទទេ ។ ពេលអ្នកពិចារណាឃើញយ៉ាងនោះ អ្នកសម្គាល់ដឹងថាស្លាកសញ្ញាថា “អញ” ឬ “របស់អញ” ដ៏ច្រើនសន្ធឹកនោះ នឹងលែងសក្តិសម លែងចាំបាច់ ហើយវានឹងមិននាំឲ្យបានប្រយោជន៍អ្វីទាំងអស់ក្រៅតែពីការបង្កឲ្យមានអារម្មណ៍តានតឹង (stress) និង ឈឺចាប់ (pain) ប៉ុណ្ណោះ ។ ដូច្នេះអ្នកអាចទម្លាក់វាចោលបាន ។ ពេលអ្នកទម្លាក់វាចោលទាំងស្រុង អ្នករកឃើញវិធីនៃការពិសោធន៍ (mode of experience) ថ្មីមួយទៀតដែលកប់នៅយ៉ាងជ្រៅ ពោលគឺបទពិសោធន៍ដែលជាសេរីភាព ឬ ការរួចផុតស្រឡះទាំងស្រុង (totally free) ពីចំណងឬការជាប់ជំពាក់ទាំងឡាយ ។
ដើម្បីហ្វឹកហាត់ឲ្យស្ទាត់ជំនាញ នូវរបៀបគិតតាមបែបសុញ្ញតានៃសញ្ញាក្ខន្ធ (emptiness mode of perception) ទាមទារនូវគុណធម៌ (virtue), សមាធិ (concentration) និង សុភវិនិច្ឆ័យ (discernment) ។ បើគ្មានការហ្វឹកហាត់នេះទេ ចិត្តមានទំនោរងាកចេញពីមាគ៌ា (mode) ត្រឹមត្រង់ រួចទៅបង្កបង្កើតរឿងរ៉ាវ និង ទិដ្ឋិអំពីពិភពលោក ដ៏ច្រើនសន្ធឹកសន្ធាប់ ។ បើសំលឹងមើលពីជ្រុងជ្រោយនៃមាគ៌ានោះ ការបង្រៀនអំពីសុញ្ញតា ហាក់បីដូចជាមានទ្រង់ទ្រាយស្រដៀងគ្នានឹងរឿងរ៉ាវ ឬទិដ្ឋិមួយទៀតអំពីពិភពលោក ដែលមានបទវិន័យថ្មីផ្សេងទៀត ។
បើពិចារណាអំពីទំនាក់ទំនងរវាងអ្នកជាមួយនឹងម្តាយរបស់អ្នក វាហាក់បីដូចជាអាចនិយាយបានថា ការពិតគឺគ្មានម្តាយ ឬ រូបអ្នកសោះ ។ បើពិចារណាអំពីទស្សនៈរបស់អ្នកអំពីពិភពលោក វាហាក់បីដូចជាអាចនិយាយបានថា ការពិតគឺគ្មានពិភពលោក ឬនិយាយម្យ៉ាងទៀតថា សុញ្ញតា គឺជាមូលដ្ឋានគ្រឹះដ៏អស្ចារ្យ ដែលមិនប្រកាន់ភាពខុសគ្នា (undifferentiated ground) នៃវត្ថុសព្វយ៉ាង ដែលជាប្រភពកំណើតនៃយើងទាំងអស់គ្នា ហើយក៏ជាទីកន្លែងដែលយើងទាំងអស់គ្នា នឹងវិលត្រឡប់ទៅវិញនៅពេលស្លាប់ ។
ការបកស្រាយទាំងនេះមិនត្រឹមតែផ្តល់អត្ថន័យរបស់ពាក្យ សុញ្ញតា មិនគ្រប់គ្រាន់ប៉ុណ្ណោះទេ វាថែមទាំងបង្វែរចិត្តមិនឲ្យឈានទៅកាន់មាគ៌ាដ៏ត្រឹមត្រូវ (proper mode) ផងដែរ ។ ប្រសិនបើគ្មានពិភពលោក និង គ្មានរឿងរ៉ាវរបស់អ្នកទេ ដូច្នេះរាល់សកម្មភាព និង ប្រតិកម្មទាំងឡាយនៅក្នុងរឿងរ៉ាវជីវិតរបស់អ្នកប្រៀបដូចជាគណិតវិទ្យា ឬការគណនានៃលេខសូន្យ ហើយអ្នកនឹងឆ្ងល់ថា តើមានប្រយោជន៍អ្វី ដែលយើងទាំងអស់គ្នាត្រូវខិតខំធ្វើអំពើជាគុណធម៌នោះ ។ យ៉ាងណាមិញ ប្រសិនបើអ្នកពិចារណាឃើញ សុញ្ញតា ថាជាមូលដ្ឋានគ្រឹះនៃវត្ថុសព្វយ៉ាង ដែលយើងទាំងអស់គ្នានឹងត្រូវត្រឡប់ទៅកាន់ទីនោះនៅពេលស្លាប់ ដូច្នេះតើយើងចាំបាច់ត្រូវហ្វឹកហាត់ចិត្តរបស់យើង តាមវិធីសមាធិ (concentration) និង សុភវិនិច្ឆ័យ (discernment) ធ្វើអ្វី ព្រោះយើងដឹងថា យើងទាំងអស់គ្នាគង់តែទៅដល់ទីនោះទាំងអស់គ្នាដដែល ? ហើយបើទោះបីយើងត្រូវការហ្វឹកហាត់ ដើម្បីទាញនាំយកចិត្តត្រឡប់មកកាន់មូលដ្ឋានគ្រឹះនៃវត្ថុសព្វយ៉ាងនោះក៏ដោយ តើមានអ្វីដែលជួយគ្រប់គ្រងចិត្តរបស់យើង មិនឲ្យងើបចេញពីទីនោះ និងរងសេចក្តីទុក្ខជាថ្មីម្តងទៀត ? ដូច្នេះនៅគ្រប់សេណារីយ៉ូ (scenarios) ឬស្ថានការណ៍ប្រតិដ្ឋទាំងអស់ គំនិតអំពីការបង្វឹកបង្ហាត់ចិត្ត ឲ្យស្ថិតនៅលើមាគ៌ាត្រឹមត្រូវនោះ ហាក់ដូចជារឿងអសារឥតការ និង គ្មានគោលដៅពិតប្រាកដសោះ ។ ដោយផ្តោតចិត្តទៅលើសំណួរថា តើមានអ្វីពិតប្រាកដនៅពីក្រោយឆាកបទពិសោធន៍មួយ អ្នកហ្វឹកហាត់ទាំងឡាយនាំយកចិត្តរបស់ពួកគេ ទៅជាប់ជំពាក់សាំញ៉ាំជាមួយនឹងបញ្ហាទាំងឡាយ ដែលបង្វែរចិត្តមិនឲ្យឈានចូលទៅដល់មាគ៌ាបច្ចុប្បន្ន (present mode) ។
ឥឡូវនេះយើងដឹងហើយថា យើងអាចយករឿងរ៉ាវ និង ទិដ្ឋិទាំងឡាយអំពីពិភពលោក ទៅប្រើប្រាស់ក្នុងគោលបំណងមួយ ។ ព្រះពុទ្ធបានប្រើប្រាស់រឿងរ៉ាវ និង ទិដ្ឋិទាំងនោះដើម្បីបង្រៀនមនុស្សម្នាទាំងឡាយ ប៉ុន្តែព្រះពុទ្ធមិនដែលប្រើពាក្យ សុញ្ញតា សោះឡើយ នៅពេលទ្រង់ថ្លែងអំពីមាគ៌ាទាំងនេះ (modes) ។ ព្រះពុទ្ធបានរៀបរាប់ដំណាលរឿងរ៉ាវនៃជីវិតមនុស្សទាំងឡាយ ដើម្បីបង្ហាញឲ្យឃើញថា សេចក្តីទុក្ខ កើតមកពីសញ្ញាក្ខន្ធជាអកុសល (unskillful perceptions) ទាំងឡាយ ដែលលាក់ខ្លួននៅពីក្រោយអំពើ (actions) ទាំងឡាយរបស់ពួកគេ និង ដើម្បីបង្ហាញឲ្យឃើញថា សេរីភាព ឬការរួចផុតពីសេចក្តីទុក្ខ អាចទទួលបានពីការឆាប់យល់អំពីសញ្ញាក្ខន្ធជាអកុសលទាំងនោះ ។ ហើយព្រះពុទ្ធបានពិពណ៌នាអំពីគោលការណ៍ជាមូលដ្ឋាន (basic principles) ដែលស្ថិតនៅក្រោមសង្សារវដ្ត (round of rebirth) ដើម្បីបង្ហាញឲ្យឃើញថា អំពើជាឆន្ទៈអាក្រក់ទាំងឡាយ (bad intentional actions) នាំមនុស្សទៅកាន់ការឈឺចាប់នៅក្នុងសង្សារវដ្ត ហើយអំពើជាឆន្ទៈល្អទាំងឡាយ នាំមនុស្សទៅកាន់សេចក្តីសុខ (pleasure) ហើយអំពើជាកុសល (skillful actions) ពិតៗទាំងឡាយ អាចនាំអ្នកចេញផុតពីសង្សារវដ្ត ។ នៅករណីទាំងអស់នេះ ការបង្រៀនទាំងនេះមានគោលបំណងនាំមនុស្សឲ្យផ្តោតចិត្តទៅលើគុណភាពនៃសញ្ញាក្ខន្ធ (perceptions) និង ឆន្ទៈ (intentions) នៅក្នុងពេលបច្ចុប្បន្ន ន័យម្យ៉ាងទៀត ការបង្រៀននេះនាំពួកគេឲ្យឈានទៅដល់ មាគ៌ាសុញ្ញតា (emptiness mode) ។ នៅពេលឈានចូលដល់ទីនោះ អ្នកហ្វឹកហាត់ទាំងឡាយអាចប្រើការបង្រៀនអំពី សុញ្ញតា ដើម្បីសម្រេចគោលបំណងប៉ងទុក (intended purpose) របស់ពួកគេ ពោលគឺការលះចោលការជាប់ជំពាក់ (attachments) គ្រប់យ៉ាងទាំងអស់ចំពោះទិដ្ឋិ (views), រឿងរ៉ាវ (stories) និង ការដៅស្មាន (assumptions) ទាំងឡាយ ដោយសំអាតចិត្តឲ្យនៅសល់តែភាពទទេ ប្រាសចាកលោភៈ (greed), ទោសៈ (anger) និង មោហៈ (delusion) ដែលនោះជាភាពទទេចុងក្រោយ គឺជាភាពទទេប្រាសចាកសេចក្តីទុក្ខ និង អារម្មណ៍តានតឹង ។ ហើយនៅពេលអ្នកឈានចូលដល់ដំណាក់កាលនោះ ពេលនោះហើយដែល សុញ្ញតា មានតម្លៃពិតប្រាកដ ។
ការបកស្រាយសុញ្ញតាដោយលោក អាឡ័ន វ៉ាត់ស៍ (Alan Watts)[កែប្រែ]
សិក្ខាសាលាពិសេសនៅចុងសប្តាហ៍នេះគឺនឹងនិយាយអំពីពុទ្ធសាសនា ហើយជាបឋមសូមរំឭកផងដែរថា មានមនុស្សជាច្រើនយល់ព្រមថា ពុទ្ធសាសនាគឺជាសាសនាហ៊ិណ្ឌូ ដែលត្រូវគេរៀបចំឲ្យស្អាតនិងវេចខ្ចប់សម្រាប់នាំចេញទៅបរទេស ។ កាលពីសប្តាហ៍កន្លងទៅ នៅពេលខ្ញុំបានពិភាក្សាអំពីកិច្ចការជាច្រើនដែលត្រូវធ្វើក្នុងការរៀបចំអង្គការនៃសង្គមហ៊ិណ្ឌូ ព្រោះថាសាសនាហ៊ិណ្ឌូមិនមែនមានន័យត្រឹមតែពាក្យថា សាសនា ដែលយើងនាំគ្នាហៅនោះទេ វាគឺជាវប្បធម៌ទាំងមូល ។ វាគឺជាប្រព័ន្ធច្បាប់ ជាប្រព័ន្ធសង្គម ជាប្រព័ន្ធនៃចរិយាធម៌ហើយវារាប់បញ្ចូលអ្វីៗគ្រប់យ៉ាង ។ វារាប់បញ្ចូលទាំងការរៀបចំផ្ទះសម្បែង រាប់ទាំងចំណីអាហារ និង សិល្បៈផងដែរ ។ ផ្ទុយនឹងរបៀបគិតពិចារណារបស់យើងសព្វថ្ងៃ ហ៊ិណ្ឌូបរិស័ទនិងមនុស្សបុរាណជាច្រើនផ្សេងទៀត មិនបែងចែកភាពខុសគ្នារវាងសាសនានិងអ្វីៗក្រៅពីសាសនាទេ ។ សាសនាមិនមែនជាផ្នែកមួយនៃជីវិតទេ ប៉ុន្តែវាគឺជាអ្វីមួយដែលចូលខ្លួនទៅក្នុងជីវិតទាំងមូលតែម្តង ។ ប៉ុន្តែដូចអ្នកឃើញស្រាប់ហើយថា នៅពេលសាសនាមួយនិងវប្បធម៌មួយមិនអាចឲ្យគេបំបែកញែកចេញដាច់ពីគ្នាបាន ពេលនោះវាជាការពិបាកនឹងនាំចេញទៅបរទេសតែវប្បធម៌មួយ ព្រោះថាវាជួបវិបត្តិជាមួយនឹងប្រពៃណី, របៀបសំដែងឫកពារ និងទំនៀមទម្លាប់ដែលមានស្រាប់របស់ក្រុមមនុស្សផ្សេងទៀត ។
ដូច្នេះសំណួរមួយបានលេចឡើងថា តើសារៈសំខាន់របស់សាសនាហ៊ីណ្ឌូដែលអាចឲ្យគេនាំចេញទៅបរទេសនោះគឺមានអ្វីខ្លះ ? ហើយនៅពេលអ្នកឆ្លើយទៅនឹងសំណួរនោះ តាមការប៉ាន់ប្រមាណ អ្នកនឹងឆ្លើយថា នោះគឺជាពុទ្ធសាសនា ។ ដូចដែលខ្ញុំធ្លាប់បានពន្យល់រួចហើយ សារៈសំខាន់នៃសាសនាហ៊ីណ្ឌូ ពោលគឺឫសកែវពិតរបស់វា គឺមិនមែនជាលទ្ធិ មិនមែនជាបទវិន័យពិសេសណាមួយនោះទេ ទោះបីបទវិន័យក៏មានជាប់ពាក់ព័ន្ធផងក៏ដោយ ។ ខ្លឹមក្នុងរបស់សាសនាហ៊ិណ្ឌូគឺបទពិសោធន៍មួយដែលពួកគេហៅថា មុក្សៈ (moksha) ប្រែថា ការរំដោះឲ្យរួចផុត ដែលនៅក្នុងនោះ តាមរយៈការកំចាត់បង់នៃកិលេស (ការបំភ័ន្តឬមាយា) ដែលបុរសនិងស្ត្រីគឺជាវត្ថុពីរផ្សេងគ្នានៅលើពិភពលោកដែលបង្កើតឡើងដោយបន្សំនៃវត្ថុផ្សេងៗដាច់ពីគ្នា អ្នករកឃើញដោយខ្លួនឯងថា នៅក្នុងជ្រុងជ្រោយមួយ អ្នកគឺគ្រាន់តែជារូបភាពបំភ័ន្តមួយប៉ុណ្ណោះ ហើយនៅក្នុងជ្រុងជ្រោយមួយទៀត អ្នកគឺជាអ្វីៗដែលមនុស្សជាច្រើនហៅថា អត្ត (ខ្លួន) វាគឺជាខ្លួនដែលគ្មានអ្វីពិសេសលើសពីនោះឡើយ ។ ចក្រវាឡគឺជាល្បែងនៃអត្ត (ខ្លួន) ដែលលេងបិទពួនឥតឈប់ឈរ ។ ពេលវាពួន វាពួនបានយ៉ាងប៉ិនប្រសប់បំផុត ដែលវាបន្លំខ្លួនវាថាជាយើងទាំងអស់គ្នា និងអ្វីៗគ្រប់យ៉ាង ហើយយើងមិនស្គាល់វាទាល់តែសោះព្រោះវាកំពុងលេងពួនជាមួយយើង ។ ប៉ុន្តែពេលវាលេងជាអ្នកដើររកវិញ វាចូលខ្លួនទៅក្នុងផ្លូវរបស់យោគៈ តាមរយៈគន្លងផ្លូវនេះ វាក៏ភ្ញាក់ឡើង ហើយពេលនោះខ្នាតធំៗទាំងឡាយក៏របេះជ្រុះចេញពីភ្នែករបស់បុគ្គលជាយោគីនោះ ។
ឥឡូវនេះ តាមរបៀបដូចគ្នា ខ្លឹមក្នុងរបស់ពុទ្ធសាសនា វត្ថុសំខាន់ពិតប្រាកដតែមួយអំពីពុទ្ធសាសនា គឺ បទពិសោធន៍ ដែលពួកគេហៅថា "ការភ្ញាក់" ។ ពាក្យថា "ព្រះពុទ្ធ" គ្រាន់តែជាគោរម្យងារប៉ុណ្ណោះ វាមិនមែនជាអសាធារណនាម ឬឈ្មោះរបស់បុគ្គលណាម្នាក់ទេ ។ ពាក្យនេះកើតចេញមកពីឫសដើមក្នុងភាសាសំស្ក្រឹតថា "ភធ" (bheudh) ដែលពេលខ្លះវាមានន័យថា "ដឹង" ប៉ុន្តែន័យប្រសើរជាងនេះគឺ "ការភ្ញាក់" ។ ហើយចេញពីឫសពាក្យនេះ អ្នកបានពាក្យថ្មីថា "ពោធិ" (bodhih) ។ នោះគឺជាសភាពនៃការរឭកឬភ្ញាក់" ។ ដូច្នេះពាក្យថា "ពុទ្ធ" គឺ "បុគ្គលភ្ញាក់ដឹងខ្លួន" ឬ "មនុស្សដែលភ្ញាក់ដឹងខ្លួន" ។ ដូច្នេះហើយទើបមានគំនិតជាច្រើននៅក្នុងពុទ្ធសាសនាថា មានព្រះពុទ្ធច្រើនអង្គ ។ មនុស្សម្នាក់ដែលគេហៅឈ្មោះថាព្រះពុទ្ធគឺគ្រាន់តែជាមនុស្សម្នាក់ក្នុងចំណោមមនុស្សរាប់មិនអស់ប៉ុណ្ណោះ ។ ដូចជាហ៊ិណ្ឌូបរិស័ទដែរ ពុទ្ធបរិស័ទអះអាងថាពិភពលោកនេះគ្រាន់តែជាភពមួយក្នុងចំណោមភពរាប់ពាន់លាន ហើយព្រះពុទ្ធទាំងឡាយកើតឡើងហើយរលត់ទៅវិញបាត់នៅក្នុងភពដទៃទៀតទាំងនោះ ។ ប៉ុន្តែមានពេលខ្លះ ដូចអ្នកឃើញស្រាប់ហើយ អ្នកប្រហែលហៅ "ព្រះពុទ្ធធំ ឬ មហាពុទ្ធ" ដែលបានកើតឡើងក្នុងពិភពលោកនេះ ។ នោះគឺជាព្រះពុទ្ធដ៏សំខាន់មួយ ។ ហើយម្នាក់ដ៏សំខាន់នោះត្រូវបានគេហៅឈ្មោះថា "គោតម" ជាបុត្រារបស់ព្រះអង្គម្ចាស់មួយអង្គរស់នៅភាគខាងជើងនៃប្រទេសឥណ្ឌា ដែលសព្វថ្ងៃជាដែនដីរបស់ប្រទេសនេប៉ាល មនុស្សសំខាន់ដែលមានត្រកូលគោតមនោះរស់នៅខ្ទង់ ៦០០ ឆ្នាំមុនគ្រិស្តសករាជ ។ កាលបរិច្ឆេទទាំងអស់នៅក្នុងប្រវត្តិសាស្ត្រឥណ្ឌាមានភាពស្រពេចស្រពិល ដូច្នេះខ្ញុំមិនព្យាយាមបង្ខំឲ្យអ្នកចងចាំកាលបរិច្ឆេទណាមួយទេ ឧទាហរណ៍ឆ្នាំ ៥៦៤ ដូចដែលមនុស្សខ្លះគិតថាជាឆ្នាំកំណើតរបស់ព្រះពុទ្ធ ប៉ុន្តែខ្ញុំប្រាប់អ្នកនូវកាលបរិច្ឆេទមិនច្បាស់មួយ ពោលគឺក្រោយឆ្នាំ ៦០០ មុនគ្រិស្តសករាជ ដែលនោះប្រហែលជាការត្រឹមត្រូវជាង ។
ខ្ញុំជឿថា ភាគច្រើននៃអ្នកទាំងអស់គ្នាដឹងរឿងនិទាននៃជីវិតរបស់គាត់ ។ តើនៅមាននរណាម្នាក់មិនដឹងទេ ខ្ញុំចង់និយាយថា ដឹងប្រហែលៗក៏បាន ? យល់ព្រម ។ ដូច្នេះខ្ញុំនឹងមិនរវល់អំពល់ទុក្ខត្រូវនិយាយច្រើនអំពីរឿងនោះ ។ ប៉ុន្តែចំណុចសំខាន់គឺថា នៅប្រទេសឥណ្ឌា មានមនុស្សម្នាក់ត្រូវបានគេហៅថា ព្រះពុទ្ធ ដែលនោះគ្រាន់តែជាគោរម្យងារដែលមនុស្សជាច្រើនលើកតម្កើងឲ្យតម្លៃយ៉ាងខ្ពស់ ។ ជាបឋម វាជាការសំខាន់ណាស់ដែលត្រូវយល់ថាព្រះពុទ្ធគឺជាមនុស្សម្នាក់ប៉ុណ្ណោះ ។ គាត់មិនអាចជាអ្វីផ្សេងក្រៅពីនោះឡើយ ទោះបីនៅក្នុងជំនឿនិយមលើកតម្កើងបុគ្គលអស្ចារ្យរបស់សាសនាហ៊ិណ្ឌូ ដែលលើកគាត់ហួសវិស័យមនុស្សឬទាបជាងនោះ ក៏វាគ្មានអ្វីជាការពិតដែរ ។ ពួកគេលើកតម្កើងថា គាត់ខ្ពស់វិសេសជាងអាទិទេពទាំងអស់ ព្រោះថា យោងតាមគំនិតរបស់ជនជាតិឥណ្ឌា អាទិទេពនិងទេវតាទាំងឡាយ (ទេវតាប្រហែលជាឈ្មោះមានតម្លៃប្រសើរជាងអាទិទេពផង) ដែលជាសភាវៈពិសេសក៏ជាប់នៅក្នុងវដ្ដសង្សារ (កើតស្លាប់ៗ) ដដែល ពោលគឺពួកគេស្ថិតនៅក្នុងច្រវាក់កម្ម ពោលគឺអំពើមួយដែលត្រូវការអំពើច្រើនផ្សេងទៀតកើតឡើងសិនដើម្បីបានសម្រេច ហើយអំពើបន្ទាប់នោះត្រូវការអំពើផ្សេងទៀតបន្តបន្ទាប់ជាប់គ្នាឥតដាច់ ។ យោងតាមគំនិតពេញនិយម ពួកគេស្ថិតនៅក្នុងកងចក្រជីវិតដែលវិលវង់ចម្លងពីជីវិតមួយទៅជីវិតមួយទៀតឥតឈប់ឈរ ព្រោះពួកគេនៅសេសសល់សេចក្តីស្រេកឃ្លានចង់វិលមកកើតជាថ្មីទៀត ឬពោលម្យ៉ាងទៀតតាមទស្សនៈរបស់សាសនាហ៊ិណ្ឌូ គឺ អត្តកំពុងតែលេងល្បែងឬដើរតួក្នុងល្ខោនមួយដែលមិនមែនជាតួអង្គខ្លួនវាពិតប្រាកដ ។
ប៉ុន្តែនៅក្នុងលទ្ធិរបស់ព្រះពុទ្ធ ផ្អែកលើបទពិសោធន៍ផ្ទាល់របស់គាត់ទាក់ទងនឹងការភ្ញាក់ឬត្រាស់ដឹង ដែលបានកើតឡើងចំនួន ៧ ឆ្នាំនៃការសាកល្បងសិក្សារៀនសូធ្យជាមួយនឹងយោគីផ្សេងៗនៅសម័យនោះ ដែលយោគីទាំងអស់បានប្រើប្រាស់វិធីធ្វើបាបរាងកាយយ៉ាងធ្ងន់ធ្ងរ(extreme asceticism) ដោយការតមអត់អាហារ, ធ្វើលំហាត់ប្រាណគ្រប់ប្រភេទ, ដេកលើគ្រែដែកគោល, ដេកលើកំទេចថ្ម, ឬវិធីអ្វីផ្សេងទៀតដើម្បីវាយកំទេចការគិតតែប្រយោជន៍ផ្ទាល់ខ្លួន (egocentricity), អាត្មានិយម, ដើម្បីផ្តាច់ខ្លួន ដើម្បីដុតកំលោចតណ្ហាចង់មានជីវិតជាថ្មីទៀត ។ ប៉ុន្តែព្រះពុទ្ធបានរកឃើញថា គ្រប់វិធីទាំងនោះគឺជាអំពើអសារឥតការ នោះមិនមែនជាមគ្គឬផ្លូវនាំទៅសម្រេចមោក្សៈឬមោក្ខៈទេ ។ ហើយថ្ងៃមួយគាត់បានបដិសេធចោលនូវក្បួនវិន័យជាតាបសឥសីនិងព្រមទទួលអាហារមួយត្រឡោក ជាប្រភេទបបរលាយទឹកដោះគោ ពីកុមារីគង្វាលគោម្នាក់ ។ ហើយភ្លាមៗនៅក្នុងបរិយាកាសធូរស្រាលដ៏អស្ចារ្យនោះ គាត់ក៏ទៅអង្គុយក្រោមដើមឈើមួយ ពេលនោះហើយដែលបន្ទុកទម្ងន់ដ៏ធ្ងន់ត្រូវបានលើកបោះចោល ។ គាត់បានមើលឃើញថា អ្វីៗគ្រប់យ៉ាងដែលគាត់បានខំប្រឹងប្រតិបត្តិកន្លងមកនោះគឺជាការដើរលើផ្លូវខុសទាំងស្រុង ។ អ្នកមិនអាចដេរកាបូបធ្វើអំពីសូត ដោយយកត្រចៀកជ្រូកញីមកកាត់ដេរនោះឡើយ ។ ហើយគ្មានការខិតខំប្រឹងប្រែងណាមួយនឹងអាចកែប្រែបុគ្គលម្នាក់ដែលកំពុងជឿមុតមាំថាខ្លួនគាត់គឺជាអាត្មាអញ ឲ្យក្លាយទៅជាបុគ្គលគ្មានភាពអាត្មានិយមបានឡើយ ។ ដរាបណាអ្នកគិត និង មានអារម្មណ៍ថា អ្នកគឺជាមនុស្សម្នាក់កំពុងជ្រកខ្លួននៅក្នុងស្បោងស្បែកមួយ ហើយពេលនោះគ្មានវិធីណាមួយនឹងជួយឲ្យអ្នកប្រព្រឹត្តកាយ វាចា ចិត្ត ដែលគ្មានភាពអាត្មានិយមនោះឡើយ ។ អូមែនហើយ អ្នកអាចសំដែងឫកពាឲ្យគេឃើញថាអ្នកគ្មានភាពអាត្មានិយម ។ អ្នកអាចឆ្លងកាត់គ្រប់រូបភាពនៃអាត្មានិយម ប៉ុន្តែអ្នកត្រូវបានចងភ្ជាប់ទៅនឹងវដ្តសង្សារដោយច្រវាក់មាសនៃអំពើល្អ ប្រៀបប្រដូចទៅនឹងមនុស្សអាក្រក់ដែលត្រូវចង់ភ្ជាប់ទៅនឹងវដ្តសង្សារដោយខ្សែច្រវាក់ដែកនៃអំពើអាក្រក់របស់ពួកគេដូច្នោះដែរ ។
ដូច្នេះ អ្នកដឹងថាមនុស្សនឹងទៅជាយ៉ាងណានៅពេលពួកគេមានមោទនភាពខាងសេចក្តីជំនឿខ្លាំងពេក ។ ពួកគេជាសមាជិកនៃក្រុមវិហារ ឬ ក្រុមជំនឿណាមួយ ហើយពួកគេនិយាយថា "ជាការពិតណាស់ ពួកយើងជាមនុស្សដែលមានសេចក្តីបង្រៀនពិត ។ យើងគឺជាមនុស្សនៅក្នុងក្រុមត្រឹមត្រូវ ពួកយើងជាមនុស្សត្រូវបានជ្រើសរើស មនុស្សដទៃទៀតជាអ្នកនៅខាងក្រៅ" ។ នោះគឺជាសេចក្តីជំនឿដើរខុសផ្លូវ ។ប៉ុន្តែបន្តិចមកក៏មានមនុស្សណាម្នាក់ចេញមកប្រកាសបដិសេធចោលសេចក្តីជំនឿរបស់មនុស្សក្រុមមុននោះ ដោយនិយាយថា "មើលមើល៍ នៅក្នុងក្រុមរបស់យើង យើងទទួលមនុស្សគ្រប់ជំនឿ ។ យើងទទួលគ្រប់សាសនា និង ទទួលស្គាល់ថាគ្រប់វិធីប្រតិបត្តិនាំទៅដល់ព្រះពិត" ។ ប៉ុន្តែអ្វីដែលពួកគេកំពុងធ្វើនោះគឺថា ពួកគេកំពុងលេងល្បែងមួយដែលហៅថា "ពួកយើងចេះអត់ឱនត្រាប្រណីប្រសើរជាងពួកអ្នកឯង" ។ ហើយតាមរបៀបនេះ អត្តទិដ្ឋិ (egocentric being) ជានិច្ចកាលគឺជាអន្ទាក់របស់ពួកគេ ។
ដូច្នេះហើយព្រះពុទ្ធបានមើលឃើញថា លំហាត់ប្រាណបែបយោគៈ និង បទវិន័យតបសឥសីទាំងអម្បាលម៉ានរបស់គាត់ គ្រាន់តែជាវិធីព្យាយាមនាំខ្លួនគាត់ចេញឲ្យរួចពីអន្ទាក់ដើម្បីការពារស្បែករបស់គាត់ប៉ុណ្ណោះ ពោលគឺដើម្បីស្វែងរកសន្តិភាពសម្រាប់ខ្លួនគាត់ ។ ហើយគាត់បានយល់ដឹងថា វិធីនោះគឺមិនអាចទៅរួចទេ ព្រោះបំណងចិត្តបំផ្លាញគម្រោងបាត់ទៅហើយ ។ ក្រោយមក គាត់បានរកឃើញថា គ្មានអន្ទាក់ដែលគាត់ត្រូវខំប្រឹងលោតចេញក្រៅតែពីខ្លួនគាត់ផ្ទាល់ប៉ុណ្ណោះ ។ អន្ទាក់ និង មនុស្សជាប់អន្ទាក់គឺវត្ថុតែមួយ ហើយពេលអ្នកយល់រឿងនោះច្បាស់ គឺគ្មានអន្ទាក់អ្វីសល់សោះឡើយ ។ កំណត់សម្គាល់ ៖ រឿងនេះបានធ្វើឲ្យខ្ញុំនឹងទៅដល់កំណាព្យខ្លីមួយរបស់ពួកអ្នកកាន់សាសនាគ្រិស្តនិកាយអែងគ្លីខឹន ដែលមានសេចក្តីថា ៖ យើងមានទុក្ខដោយខ្មាំងសត្រូវ ពួកគេនៅឋានសួគ៌សុខសាន្ត យើងជាឈ្លើយ គេរស់សេរី យើងគេក្តីការពិតគឺមួយ ។
So, as a result of this experience, he formulated what is called the _dharma_, that is the Sanskrit word for 'method.' You will get a certain confusion when you read books on Buddhism, because they switch between Sanskrit and Pali words. The earliest Buddhist scriptures that we know of are written the Pali language, and Pali is a softened form of Sanskrit. So that, for example, the doctrine of the buddha is called in Sanskrit the 'dharma,' we must in pronouncing Sanskrit be aware that an 'A' is almost pronounced as we pronounce 'U' in the word 'but.' So they don't say 'darmuh,' they say 'durmuh.' And so also this double 'D' you say 'budduh' and so on. But in Pali, and in many books of Buddhism, you'll find the Buddhist doctrine described as the 'dhama.' And so the same way 'karma' in Sanskrit, in Pali becomes 'kama.' 'Buddha' remains the same. The dharma, then, is the method.
Now, the method of Buddhism, and this is absolutely important to remember, is dialectic. That is to say, it doesn't teach a doctrine. You cannot anywhere what Buddhism teaches, as you can find out what Christianity or Judaism or Islam teaches. Because all Buddhism is a discourse, and what most people suppose to be its teachings are only the opening stages of the dialog.
So the concern of the buddha as a young man--the problem he wanted to solve--was the problem of human suffering. And so he formulated his teaching in a very easy way to remember. All those Buddhist scriptures are full of what you might call mnemonic tricks, sort of numbering things in such a way that they're easy to remember. And so he summed up his teaching in what are called the Four Noble Truths. And the first one, because it was his main concern, was the truth about _duhkha_. Duhkha, 'suffering, pain, frustration, chronic dis-ease.' It is the opposite of _sukha_, which means 'sweet, pleasure, etc.'
So, insofar as the problem posed in Buddhism is duhkha, 'I don't want to suffer, and I want to find someone or something that can cure me of suffering.' That's the problem. Now if there's a person who solves the problem, a buddha, people come to him and say 'Master, how do we get out of this problem?' So what he does is to propose certain things to them. First of all, he points out that with duhkha go two other things. These are respectively called _anitya_ and _anatman_. Anitya means--'nitya' means 'permanant,' so 'impermanance.' Flux, change, is characteristic of everything whatsoever. There isn't anything at all in the whole world, in the material world, in the psychic world, in the spiritual world, there is nothing you can catch hold of and hang on to for safely. Nuttin'. Not only is there nothing you can hang on to, but by the teaching of anatman, there is no you to hang on to it. In other words, all clinging to life is an illusory hand grasping at smoke. If you can get that into your head and see that that is so, nobody needs to tell you that you ought not to grasp. Because you see, you can't.
See, Buddhism is not essentially moralistic. The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile. Because what happens is he simply sweeps the dust under the carpet, and it all comes back again somehow. But in this case, it involves a complete realization that this is the case. So that's what the teacher puts across to begin with.
The next thing that comes up, the second of the noble truths, is about the cause of suffering, and this in Sanskrit is called _trishna_. Trishna is related to our word 'thirst.' It's very often translated 'desire.' That will do. Better, perhaps, is 'craving, clinging, grasping,' or even, to use our modern psychological word, 'blocking.' When, for example, somebody is blocked, and dithers and hesitates, and doesn't know what to do, he is in the strictest Buddhist sense attached, he's stuck. But a buddha can't be stuck, he cannot be phased. He always flows, just as water always flows, even if you dam it, the water just keeps on getting higher and higher and higher until it flows over the dam. It's unstoppable.
Now, buddha said, then, duhkha comes from trishna. You all suffer because you cling to the world, and you don't recognize that the world is anitya and anatman. So then, try, if you can, not to grasp. Well, do you see that that immediately poses a problem? Because the student who has started off this dialog with the buddha then makes various efforts to give up desire. Upon which he very rapidly discovers that he is desiring not to desire, and he takes that back to the teacher, who says 'Well, well, well.' He said, 'Of course. You are desiring not to desire, and that's of course excessive. All I want you to do is to give up desiring as much as you can. Don't want to go beyond the point of which you're capable.' And for this reason Buddhism is called the Middle Way. Not only is it the middle way between the extremes of ascetic discipline and pleasure seeking, but it's also the middle way in a very subtle sense. Don't desire to give up more desire than you can. And if you find that a problem, don't desire to be successful in giving up more desire than you can. You see what's happening? Every time he's returned to the middle way, he's moved out of an extreme situation.
Now then, we'll go on; we'll cut out what happens in the pursuit of that method until a little later. The next truth in the list is concerned with the nature of release from duhkha. And so number three is _nirvana_. Nirvana is the goal of Buddhism; it's the state of liberation corresponding to what the Hindus call _moksha_. The word means 'blow out,' and it comes from the root 'nir vritti.' Now some people think that what it means is blowing out the flame of desire. I don't believe this. I believe that it means 'breathe out,' rather than 'blow out,' because if you try to hold your breath, and in Indian thought, breath--prana--is the life principle. If you try to hold on to life, you lose it. You can't hold your breath and stay alive; it becomes extremely uncomfortable to hold onto your breath.
And so in exactly the same way, it becomes extremely uncomfortable to spend all your time holding on to your life. What the devil is the point of surviving, going on living, when it's a drag? But you see, that's what people do. They spend enormous efforts on maintaining a certain standard of living, which is a great deal of trouble. You know, you get a nice house in the suburbs, and the first thing you do is you plant a lawn. You've gotta get out and mow the damn thing all the time, and you buy expensive this-that and soon you're all involved in mortgages, and instead of being able to walk out into the garden and enjoy, you sit at your desk and look at your books, filling out this and that and the other and paying bills and answering letters. What a lot of rot! But you see, that is holding onto life. So, translated into colloquial American, nirvana is 'whew!' 'Cause if you let your breath go, it'll come back. So nirvana is not annihilation, it's not disappearance into a sort of undifferentiated void. Nirvana is the state of being let go. It is a state of consciousness, and a state of--you might call it-- being, here and now in this life.
We now come to the most complicated of all, number four: _margha[?]_. 'Margh' in Sanskrit means 'past,' and the buddha taught an eightfold path for the realization of nirvana. This always reminds me of a story about Dr Suzuki, who is a very, very great Buddhist scholar. Many years ago, he was giving a fundamental lecture on Buddhism at the University of Hawaii, and he'd been going through these four truths, and he said 'Ah, fourth Noble Truth is Noble Eightfold Path. First step of Noble Eightfold Path called _sho-ken_. Sho-ken in Japanese mean `right view.' For Buddhism, fundamentally, is right view. Right way of viewing this world. Second step of Noble Eightfold Path is--oh, I forget second step, you look it up in the book.'
Well, I'm going to do rather the same thing. What is important is this: the eightfold path has really got three divisions in it. The first are concerned with understanding, the second division is concerned with conduct, and the third division is concerned with meditation. And every step in the path is preceded with the Sanskrit word _samyak_. In which you remember we ran into _samadhi_ last week, 'sam' is the key word. And so, the first step, _samyak- drishti_, which mean--'drishti' means a view, a way of looking at things, a vision, an attitude, something like that. But this word samyak is in ordinary texts on Buddhism almost invariably translated 'right.' This is a very bad translation. The word IS used in certain contexts in Sanskrit to mean 'right, correct,' but it has other and wider meanings. 'Sam' means, like our word 'sum,' which is derived from it, 'complete, total, all-embracing.' It also has the meaning of 'middle wade,' representing as it were the fulcrum, the center, the point of balance in a totality. Middle wade way of looking at things. Middle wade way of understanding the dharma. Middle wade way of speech, of conduct, of livelihood, and so on.
Now this is particularly cogent when it comes to Buddhist ideas of behavior. Every Buddhist in all the world, practically, as a layman--he's not a monk--undertakes what are called _pantasila[?]_, the Five Good Conducts. 'Sila' is sometimes translated 'precept.' But it's not a precept because it's not a commandment. When Buddhists priests chant the precepts, you know: pranatipada[?]: 'prana (life) tipada (taking away) I promise to abstain from.' So the first is that one undertakes not to destroy life. Second, not to take what is not given. Third--this is usually translated 'not to commit adultry'. It doesn't say anything of the kind. In Sanskrit, it means 'I undertake the precept to abstain from exploiting my passions.' Buddhism has no doctrine about adultry; you may have as many wives as you like.
But the point is this: when you're feeling blue and bored, it's not a good idea to have a drink, because you may become dependant on alcohol whenever you feel unhappy. So in the same way, when you're feeling blue and bored, it's not a good idea to say 'Let's go out and get some chicks.' That's exploiting the passions. But it's not exploiting the passions, you see, when drinking, say expresses the viviality and friendship of the group sitting around the dinner table, or when sex expresses the spontaneous delight of two people in each other.
Then, the fourth precept, _musavada[?]_, 'to abstain from false speech.' It doesn't simply mean lying. It means abusing people. It means using speech in a phony way, like saying 'all niggers are thus and so.' Or 'the attitude of America to this situation is thus and thus.' See, that's phony kind of talking. Anybody who studies general semantics will be helped in avoiding musavada, false speech.
The final precept is a very complicated one, and nobody's quite sure exactly what it means. It mentions three kinds of drugs and drinks: sura, mariya[?], maja[?]. We don't know what they are. But at any rate, it's generally classed as narcotics and liquors. Now, there are two ways of translating this precept. One says to abstain from narcotics and liquors; the other liberal translation favored by the great scholar Dr [?] is 'I abstain from being intoxicated by these things.' So if you drink and don't get intoxicated, it's ok. You don't have to be a teatotaler to be a Buddhist. This is especially true in Japan and China; my goodness, how they throw it down! A scholarly Chinese once said to me, 'You know, before you start meditating, just have a couple martinis, because it increases your progress by about six months.'
Now you see these are, as I say, they are not commandments, they are vows. Buddhism has in it no idea of there being a moral law laid down by somekind of cosmic lawgiver. The reason why these precepts are undertaken is not for a sentimental reason. It is not that you're going to make you into a good person. It is that for anybody interested in the experiments necessary for liberation, these ways of life are expedient. First of all, if you go around killing, you're going to make enemies, and you're going to have to spend a lot of time defending yourself, which will distract you from your yoga. If you go around stealing, likewise, you're going to aquire a heap of stuff, and again, you're going to make enemies. If you exploit your passions, you're going to get a big thrill, but it doesn't last. When you begin to get older, you realize 'Well that was fun while we had it, but I haven't really learned very much from it, and now what?' Same with speech. Nothing is more confusing to the mind than taking words too seriously. We've seen so many examples of that. And finally, to get intoxicated or narcotized--a narcotic is anything like alcohol or opium which makes you sleepy. The word 'narcosis' in Greek, 'narc' means 'sleep.' So, if you want to pass your life seeing things through a dim haze, this is not exactly awakening.
So, so much for the conduct side of Buddhism. We come then to the final parts of the eightfold path. There are two concluding steps, which are called _samyak-smriti_ and _samyak-samadhi_. _Smriti_ means 'recollection, memory, present-mindedness.' Seems rather funny that the same word can mean 'recollection or memory' and 'present-mindedness.' But smriti is exactly what that wonderful old rascal Gurdjieff meant by 'self-awareness,' or 'self- remembering.' Smriti is to have complete presence of mind.
There is a wonderful meditation called 'The House that Jack Built Meditation,' at least that's what I call it, that the Southern Buddhists practice. He walks, and he says to himself, 'There is the lifting of the foot.' The next thing he says is 'There is a perception of the lifting of the foot.' And the next, he says 'There is a tendency towards the perception of the feeling of the lifting of the foot.' Then finally he says, 'There is a consciousness of the tendency of the perception of the feeling of the lifting of the foot.' And so, with everything that he does, he knows that he does it. He is self-aware. This is tricky. Of course, it's not easy to do. But as you practice this--I'm going to let the cat out of the bag, which I suppose I shouldn't do--but you will find that there are so many things to be aware of at any given moment in what you're doing, that at best you only ever pick out one or two of them. That's the first thing you'll find out. Ordinary conscious awareness is seeing the world with blinkers on. As we say, you can think of only one thing at a time. That's because ordinary consciousness is narrowed consciousness. It's being narrow-minded in the true sense of the word, looking at things that way. Then you find out in the course of going around being aware all of the time--what are you doing when you remember? Or when you think about the future? 'I am aware that I am remembering'? 'I am aware that I am thinking about the future'?
But you see, what eventually happens is that you discover that there isn't any way of being absent-minded. All thoughts are in the present and of the present. And when you discover that, you approach samadhi. Samadhi is the complete state, the fulfilled state of mind. And you will find many, many different ideas among the sects of Buddhists and Hindus as to what samadhi is. Some people call it a trance, some people call it a state of consciousness without anything in it, knowing with no object of knowledge. All these are varying opinions. I had a friend who was a Zen master, and he used to talk about samadhi, and he said a very fine example of samadhi is a fine horserider. When you watch a good cowboy, he is one being with the horse. So an excellent driver in a car makes the car his own body, and he absolutely is with it. So also a fine pair of dancers. They don't have to shove each other to get one to do what the other wants him to do. They have a way of understanding each other, of moving together as if they were siamese twins. That's samadhi, on the physical, ordinary, everyday level. The samadhi of which buddha speaks is the state which, as it is, the gateway to nirvana, the state in which the illusion of the ego as a separate thing disintegrates.
Now, when we get to that point in Buddhism, Buddhists do a funny thing, which is going to occupy our attention for a good deal of this seminar. They don't fall down and worship. They don't really have any name for what it is that is, really and basically. The idea of anatman, of non-self, is applied in Buddhism not only to the individual ego, but also to the notion that there is a self of the universe, a kind of impersonal or personal god, and so it is generally supposed that Buddhism is generally atheistic. It's true, depending on what you mean by atheism. Common or garden atheism is a form of belief, namely that I believe there is no god--and Hans Enkel[?] is its prophet. (I'm speaking of a famous atheist). The atheist positively denies the existence of any god. All right. Now, there is such an atheist, if you put dash between the 'a' and 'theist,' or speak about something called 'atheos'--'theos' in Greek means 'god'--but what is a non-god? A non-god is an inconceivable something or other.
I love the story about a debate in the Houses of Parliment in England, where, as you know, the Church of England is established and under control of the government, and the high eclesiastics had petitioned Parliment to let them have a new prayerbook. Somebody got up and said 'It's perfectly ridiculous that Parliment should decide on this, because as we well know, there are quite a number of atheists in these benches.' And somebody got up and said 'Oh, I don't think there are really any atheists. We all believe in some sort of something somewhere.'
Now again, of course, it isn't that Buddhism believes in some sort of something somewhere, and that is to say in vagueness. Here is the point: if you believe, if you have certain propositions that you want to assert about the ultimate reality, or what Portilli[?] calls 'the ultimate ground of being,' you are talking nonsense. Because you can't say something specific about everything. You see, supposing you wanted to say 'God has a shape.' But if god is all that there is, then God doesn't have any outside, so he can't have a shape. You have to have an outside and space outside it to have a shape. So that's why the Hebrews, too, are against people making images of God. But nonetheless, Jews and Christians persistently make images of God, not necessarily in pictures and statues, but they make images in their minds. And those are much more insidious images.
Buddhism is not saying that the Self, the great atman, or whatnot, it isn't denying that the experience which corresponds to these words is realizable. What it is saying is that if you make conceptions and doctrines about these things, your liable to become attached to them. You're liable to start believing instead of knowing. So they say in Zen Buddhism, 'The doctrine of Buddhism is a finger pointing at the moon. Do not mistake the finger for the moon.' Or so we might say in the West, the idea of God is a finger pointing at God, but what most people do is instead of following the finger, they suck it for comfort. And so buddha chopped off the finger, and undermined all metaphysical beliefs. There are many, many dialogues in the Pali scriptures where people try to corner the buddha into a metaphysical position. 'Is the world eternal?' The buddha says nothing. 'Is the world not eternal?' And he answers nuttin'. 'Is the world both eternal and not eternal?' And he don't say nuttin'. 'Is the world neither eternal nor not eternal?' And STILL he don't say nuttin'. He maintains what is called the noble silence. Sometimes called the thunder of silence, because this silence, this metaphysical silence, is not a void. It is very powerful. This silence is the open window through which you can see not concepts, not ideas, not beliefs, but the very goods. But if you say what it is that you see, you erect an image and an idol, and you misdirect people. It's better to destroy people's beliefs than to give them beliefs. I know it hurts, but it is The Way.
ALAN WATTS: THE WORLD AS EMPTINESS, pt 2 of 3 You must understand as one of the fundamental points of Buddhism, the idea of the world as being in flux. I gave you this morning the Sanskrit word _anitya_ as one of the characteristics of being, emphasized by the buddha along with _anatman_, the unreality of a permanant self, and _duhkha_, the sense of frustration. Duhkha really arises from a person's failure to accept the other two characteristics: lack of permanant self and change. You see, in Buddhism, the feeling that we have of an enduring organism--I meet you today and I see you, and then tomorrow I meet you again, and you look pretty much as you looked yesterday, and so I consider that you're the same person, but you aren't. Not really. When I watch a whirlpool in a stream, here's the stream flowing along, and there's always a whirlpool like the one at Niagra. But that whirlpool never, never really holds any water. The water is all the time rushing through it. In the same way, a university, the University of California--what is it? The students exchange at least every four years; the faculty changes at a somewhat slower rate; the building changes, they knock down old ones and put up new ones; the administration changes. So what is the University of California? It's a pattern. A doing of a particular kind. And so in just precisely that way, every one of us is a whirlpool in the tide of existence, and where every cell in our body, every every molocule, every atom is in constant flux, and nothing can be pinned down.
You know, you can put bands on pigeons, or migrating birds, and identify them and follow them, and find out where they go. But you can't tag atoms, much less electrons. They have a curious way of appearing and disappearing, and one of the great puzzles in physics is What are electons doing when we're not looking at them? Because our observation of them has to modify their behavior. We can't see an electron without putting it in an experimental situation where our examination of it in some way changes it. What we would like to know is what it is doing when we're not looking at it. Like does the light in the refrigerator really go off when we close the door?
But this is fundamental, you see, to Buddhistic philosophy. The philosophy of change. From one point of view, change is just too bad. Everything flows away, and there's a kind of sadness in that, a kind of nostalgia, and there may even be a rage. 'Go not gently into that good night, but rage, rage, at the dying of the light.'
But there's something curious--there can be a very fundamental change in one's attitude to the question of the world as fading. On the one hand resentment, and on the other delight. If you resist change--of course, you must, to some extent. When you meet another person, you don't want to be thoroughly rejected, but you love to feel a little resistance. Don't you, you know? You have a beautiful girl, and you touch her. You don't want her to go 'Blah!' But so round, so firm, so fully packed! A little bit of resistance, you see, is great. So there must always be resistance in change; otherwise there couldn't even be change. There'd just be a 'pfft!' The world would go 'pfft!' and that'd be the end of it.
But because there's always some resistance to change, there is a wonderful manifestation of form, there is a dance of life. But the human mind, as distinct from most animal minds, is terribly aware of time. And so we think a great deal about the future, and we know that every visible form is going to disappear and be replaced by so- called others. Are these others, others? Or are they the same forms returning? Of couse, that's a great puzzle. Are next year's leaves that come from a tree going to be the same as this year's leaves? What do you mean by the same? They'll be the same shape, they'll have the same botanical characteristics. But you'll be able to pick up a shriveled leaf from last autumn and say 'Look at the difference. This is last year's leaf; this is this year's leaf.' And in that sense, they're not the same.
What happens when any great musician plays a certain piece of music? He plays it today, and then he plays it again tomorrow. Is it the same piece of music, or is it another? In the Pali language, they say _naja-so, naja-ano[?]_ which means 'not the same, yet not another.' So, in this way, the Buddhist is able to speak of reincarnation of beings, without having to believe in some kind of soul entity that is reincarnated. Some kind of atman, some kind of fixed self, ego principle, soul principle that moves from one life to another. And this is as true in our lives as they go on now from moment to moment as it would be true of our lives as they appear and reappear again over millions of years. It doesn't make the slightest difference, except that there are long intervals and short intervals, high vibrations and low vibrations. When you hear a high sound, high note in the musical scale, you can't see any holes in it--it's going too fast--and it sounds completely continuous. But when you get the lowest audible notes that you can hear on an organ, you feel the shaking. You feel the vibration, you hear that music [throbbing] on and off.
So in the same way as we live now from day to day, we experience ourselves living at a high rate of vibration, and we appear to be continuous, although there is the rhythm of waking and sleeping. But the rhythym that runs from generation to generation and from life to life is much slower, and so we notice the gaps. We don't notice the gaps when the rhythym is fast. So we are living, as it were, on many, many levels of rhythym.
So this is the nature of change. If you resist it, you have duhkha, you have frustration and suffering. But on the other hand, if you understand change, you don't cling to it, and you let it flow, then it's no problem. It becomes positively beautiful, which is why in poetry, the theme of the evernescence[?] of the world is beautiful. When Shelly says,
The one remains, the many change and pass, heaven's light forever shines, Earth's shadows fly. Life, like a dome of many-colored glass, stains the white radiance of eternity until death shatters it to fragments.
Now what's beautiful in that? Is it heaven's light that shines forever? Or is it rather the dome of many-colored glass that shatters? See, it's always the image of change that really makes the poem.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps on life's petty pace from day to day, until the last syllable of recorded time.
Somehow, you know, it's so well-said that it's not so bad after all. The poet has got the intuition that things are always running out, that things are always disappearing, has some hidden marvel in it. I was discussing with someone during the lunch intermission, the Japanese have a word _yugen_, which has no English equivalent whatsoever. Yugen is in a way digging change. It's described poetically, you have the feeling of yugen when you see out in the distant water some ships hidden behind a far-off island. You have the feeling of yugen when you watch wild geese suddenly seen and then lost in the clouds. You have the feeling of yugen when you look across Mt Tamapeis, and you've never been to the other side, and you see the sky beyond. You don't go over there to look and see what's on the other side, that wouldn't be yugen. You let the other side be the other side, and it invokes something in your imagination, but you don't attempt to define it to pin it down. Yugen. So in the same way, the coming and going of things in the world is marvelous. They go. Where do they go? Don't answer, because that would spoil the mystery. They vanish into the mystery. But if you try to persue them, you destroy yugen. That's a very curious thing, but that idea of yugen, which in Chinese characters means, as it were, kind of 'the deep mystery of the valley.' There's a poem in Chinese which says 'The wind drops, but the petals keep falling. The bird calls, and the mountain becomes more mysterious.' Isn't that strange? There's no wind anymore, and yet petals are dropping. And a bird in the canyon cries, and that one sound in the mountains brings out the silence with a wallop.
I remember when I was almost a child in the Pyrenees in the southwest of France. We went way up in this gorgeous silence of the mountains, but in the distance we could hear the bells on the cows clanking. And somehow those tiny sounds brought out the silence. And so in the same way, slight permanances bring out change. And they give you this very strange sense. Yugen. The mystery of change. You know, in Elliot's poem, 'The Four Quartets,' where he says 'The dark, dark, dark. They all go into the dark, distinguished families, members of the book of the director of directors, everybody, they all go into the dark.' Life IS life, you see, because, just because it's always disappearing. Supposing suddenly, by some kind of diabolical magic, I could say 'zzzip!' and every one of you would stay the same age forever. You'd be like Madam Trusseau's wax works. It'd be awful! In a thousand years from now, what beautiful hags you would be.
So, the trouble is, that we have one-sided minds, and we notice the wave of life when it is at its peak or crest. We don't notice it when it's at the trough, not in the ordinary way. It's the peaks that count. Take a buzzsaw: what seems important to us is the tips of the teeth. They do the cutting, not the valleys between the teeth. But see, you couldn't have tips of teeth without the valleys between. Therefore the saw wouldn't cut without both tips and V- shaped valleys. But we ignore that. We don't notice the valleys so much as we notice the mountains. Valleys point down, mountains point up, and we prefer things that point up, because up is good and down is bad.
But seriously, we don't blame the peaks for being high and the valleys for being low. But it is so, you see, that we ignore the valley aspect of things, and so all wisdom begins by emphasizing the valley aspect as distinct from the peak aspect. We pay plenty of attention to the peak aspect, that's what captures out attention, but we somehow screen out the valley aspect. But that makes us very uncomfortable. It seems we want and get pleasure from looking at the peaks, but actually this denies our pleasure, becuase secretly we know that every peak is followed by a valley. The valley of the shadow of death.
And we're always afraid, because we're not used to looking at valleys, because we're not used to living with them, the represent to us the strange and threatening unknown. Maybe we're afraid the principle of the valley will conquer, and the peaks will be overwhelmed. Maybe death is stronger than life, because life always seems to require an effort; death is something into which you slide effortlessly. Maybe nothing will overcome something in the end. Wouldn't that be awful? And so we resist change, ignorant of the fact that change is life, and that nothing is invariably the adverse face of something.
For such purposes, I have to give you a very elementary lesson about the properties of space. Because most people are afraid of space. They ignore it, and they think space is nothing. Space is simply, unless it happens to be filled with air, a nothingness between things. But without space, there is no energy and no motion, and it can be illustrated in this way: in this area is the whole universe, and there's only one thing in it, and that's a ball. Is it moving, or is it still? There's absolutely no way of deciding. None whatever. So it's neither moving, nor is it still, because you can't be aware of or measure motion, except in relation to something that's relatively still. All right, let's have two balls. Ball one, and ball two. Now, these balls--we suddenly notice that the distance between them increases. Which one moved? Or did they both move? there's no way of deciding. You could say the distance, ie, the space between them increased. But who started it is impossible to determine. All right, three balls. Now, we notice for example that one and three stay together, and they keep a constant distance apart. But two goes away and comes back. Now what's happening? One and three, since they stay together, constitute a group. Two recedes or approaches, or does it? Or is the group one and three receding from or approaching towards two? There's one way of deciding. One and three constitute a majority. So if they vote, they can say whether they are going towards two or going away from two. Two doesn't like this. So two decides it can lick 'em by joining them, so two comes and sits here. Now what's going to happen? Neither one and three can say to two, and two can't say to three, 'Why do you keep following me around?' Because again, because they all maintain a constant distance, they have no motion.
All right. We have the same problem on a very big scale, in what we call the expansion of the universe. All the galaxies observable seem to be getting further away from each other. Now, are they going further away from us, or are we going further away from them, or are they all all together going further away from each other? Astronomers have suggested that what is expanding is the space between them. And so we get the idea of expanding space. This isn't quite the right answer. What has been neglected in all this, if I can say either that the objects are moving away from each other, they're doing it. Or it's equally possible for me to say that it's the space they're in that's expanding. But I can't decide which one is which. The meaning of this inability to decide is that space and solid are two ways of talking about the same thing. Space-solid. You don't find space without solids; you don't find solids without space. If I say there's a universe in which there isn't anything but space, you must say 'Space between what?' Space is relationship, and it always goes together with solid, like back goes with front. But the devisive mind ignores space. And it thinks it's the solids that do the whole job, that they're the only thing that's real. That is, to put it in other words, conscious attention ignores intervals, because it thinks they're unimportant.
Let's consider music. When you hear music, most people think that what they hear is a succession of notes or tones. If all you heard when you listen to music were a succession of tones, you would hear no melody, and no harmony. You would hear nothing but a succession of noises. What you really hear when you hear melody is the interval between one tone and another. The steps as it were on the scale. If you can't hear that, you're tone-deaf and don't enjoy music at all. It's the interval that's the important thing. So in the same way, in the intervals between this year's leaves, last year's leaves, this generation of people and that generation, the interval is in some ways just as important, in some ways more important than what it's between. Actually they go together, but I say the interval is sometimes more important because we underemphasize it, so I'm going to overemphasize it as a correction. So space, night, death, darkness, not being there is an essential componant of being there. You don't have the one without the other, just as your buzzsaw has no teeth without having valleys between the tips of them. That's the way being is made up.
So then, in Buddhism, change is emphasized. First, to unsettle people who think that they can achieve permanance by hanging on to life. And it seems that the preacher is wagging his finger at them and saying 'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.' So all the preachers together say 'Don't cling to those things.' So then, as a result of that, and now I'm going to speak in strictly Buddhist terms, the follower of the way of buddha seeks deliverance from attachment to the world of change. He seeks nirvana, the state beyond change, which the buddha called the unborn, the unoriginated, the uncreated, and the unformed. But then, you see, what he finds out is in seeking a state beyond change, seeking nirvana as something away from _samsara_, which is the name for the wheel, he is still seeking something permanant. And so, as Buddhism went on, they thought about this a great deal. And this very point was the point of division between the two great schools of Buddhism, which in the south, as I explained, were Theravada, the doctrine of the Thera, the elders, sometimes known, disrespectfully, as the Hinayana. 'Yana' means 'a vehicle, a conveyance, or a ferryboat.' This is a yana, and I live on a ferryboat because that's my job. Then there is the other school of Buddhism, called the Mahayana. 'Maha' means 'great'; 'hina,' little. The great vehicle and the little vehicle.
Now, what is this? The Mahayanas say 'You're little just get a few people who are very, very tough ascetics, and takes them across the shore to nirvana.' But the great vehicle shows people that nirvana is not different from everyday life. So that when you have reached nirvana, if you think 'Now I have attained it, now I have succeeded, now I have caught the secret of the universe, and I am at peace,' you have only a false peace. You have become a stone buddha. You have a new illusion of the changeless. So it is said that such a person is a pratyeka-buddha. That means 'private buddha.' 'I've got it all for myself.' And in contrast with this kind of pratyeka- buddha, who gains nirvana and stays there, the Mahayanas use the word _bodhisattva_. 'Sattva' means 'essential principle'; 'bodhi,' awakening. A person whose essential being is awakened. The word used to mean 'junior buddha,' someone on the way to becoming a buddha. But in the course of time, it came to mean someone who had attained buddhahood, who had reached nirvana, but who returns into everyday life to deliver everyday beings. This is the popular idea of a bodhisattva--a savior.
So, in the popular Buddhism of Tibet and China and Japan, people worship the bodhisattvas, the great bodhisattvas, as saviors. Say, the one I talked about this morning, the hermaphroditic Quan-Yin[?]. People loved Quan-Yin because she--he/she, she/he--could be a buddha, but has come back into the world to save all beings. The Japanese call he/she _Kanon[?]_, and they have in Kyoto an image of Kanon with one thousand arms, radiating like an aureole all around this great golden figure, and these thousand arms are one thousand different ways of rescuing beings from ignorance. Kanon is a funny thing. I remember one night when I suddenly realized that Kanon was incarnate in the whole city of Kyoto, that this whole city was Kanon, that the police department, the taxi drivers, the fire department, the shopkeepers, in so far as this whole city was a collaborate effort to sustain human life, however bumbling, however inefficient, however corrupt, it was still a manifestation of Kanon, with its thousand arms, all working independantly, and yet as one.
So they revere those bodhisattvas as the saviors, come back into the world to deliver all beings. But there is a more esoteric interpretation of this. The bodhisattva returns into the world. That means he has discovered that you don't have to go anywhere to find nirvana. Nirvana is where you are, provided you don't object to it. In other words, change--and everything is change; nothing can be held on to--to the degree that you go with a stream, you see, you are are still, you are flowing with it. But to the degree you resist the stream, then you notice that the current is rushing past you and fighting you. So swim with it, go with it, and you're there. You're at rest. And this is of course particularly true when it comes to those moments when life really seems to be going to take us away, and the stream of change is going to swallow us completely. The moment of death, and we think, 'Oh-oh, this is it. This is the end.' And so at death we withdraw, say 'No, no, no, not that, not yet, please.'
But, actually, the whole problem is that there really is no other problem for human beings, than to go over that waterfall when it comes. Just as you go over any other waterfall, just as you go on from day-to-day, just as you go to sleep at night. Be absolutely willing to die. Now, I'm not preaching. I'm not saying you OUGHT to be willing to die, and that you should muscle up your courage and somehow put on a good front when the terrible thing comes. That's not the idea at all. The point is that you can only die well if you understand this system of ways. If you understand that you're disappearance as the form in which you think you are you. Your disappearance as this particular organism is simply seasonal. That you are just as much the dark space beyond death as you are the light interval called life. These are just two sides of you, because YOU is the total way. You see, we can't have half a way. Nobody ever saw waves that just had crests, and no troughs. So you can't have half a human being, who is born but doesn't die. Half a thing. That would be only half a thing. But the propogation of vibrations, and life is vibration, it simply goes on an on, but its cycles are short cycles and long cycles.
Space, you see, is not just nothing. If I could magnify my hand to an enormous degree so you could see all the molocules in it, I don't know how far apart they would be, but it seems to me they would be something like tennis balls in a very, very large space, and you'd look when I move my hand, and say 'For god's sake, look at all those tennis balls, they're all going together. Crazy. And there are no strings tying them together. Isn't that queer?' No, but there's space going with them, and space is a function of, or it's an inseparable aspect of whatever solids are in the space. That is the clue, probably, to what we mean by gravity. We don't know yet. So in the same way, when those marvelous sandpipers come around here, the little ones. While they're in the air flying, they have one mind, they move all together. When they alight on the mud, they become individuals and they go pecking around for worms or whatever. But one click of the fingers and all those things go up into the air. They don't seem to have a leader, because they don't follow when they turn; they all turn together and go off in a different direction. It's amazing. But they're like the molocules in my hand.
So then, you see, here's the principle: when you don't resist change, I mean over resist. I don't mean being flabby, like I said at the beginning. When you don't resist change, you see that the changing world, which disappears like smoke, is no different from the nirvana world. Nirvana, as I said, means breathe out, let go of the breath. So in the same way, don't resist change; it's all the same principle.
So the bodhisattva saves all beings, not by preaching sermons to them, but by showing them that they are delivered, they are liberated, by the act of not being able to stop changing. You can't hang on to yourself. You don't have to try to not hang on to yourself. It can't be done, and that is salvation. That's why you may think it a grisly habit, but certain monks keep skulls on their desks, 'momentomori,' 'be mindful of death.' Gurgdjieff says in one of his books that the most important thing for anyone to realize is that you and every person you see will soon be dead. It sounds so gloomy to us, because we have devised a culture fundamentally resisting death. There is a wonderful saying that Anandakuri- Swami[?] used to quote: 'I pray that death will not come and find me still unannihilated.' In other words, that man dies happy if there is no one to die. In other words, if the ego's disappeared before death caught up to him.
But you see, the knowledge of death helps the ego to disappear, because it tells you you can't hang on. So what we need, if we're going to have a good religion around, that's one of the places where it can start: having, I suppose they'd call it The Institution For Creative Dying, something like that. You can have one department where you can have champaign and cocktail parties to die with, another department where you can have glorious religious rituals with priests and things like that, another department where you can have psychadelic drugs, another department where you can have special kinds of music, anything, you know. All these arrangements will be provided for in a hospital for delightful dying. But that's the thing, to go out with a bang instead of a whimper.
ALAN WATTS: THE WORLD AS EMPTINESS, pt 3 of 3 I was talking a great deal yesterday afternoon about the Buddhist additude to change, to death, to the transience of the world, and was showing that preachers of all kinds stir people up in the beginning by alarming them about change. That's like somebody actually raising an alarm, just the same way as if I want to pay you a visit I ring the doorbell, and then we can come in and I don't need to raise an alarm anymore. So in the same way, it sounds terrible, you see, that everything is going to die and pass away, and here you are, thinking that happiness, sanity, and security consist in clinging on to things which can't be clung to, and in any case there isn't anybody to cling to them. The whole thing is a weaving of smoke. So, that's the initial standpoint, but, as soon as you really discover this, and you stop clinging to change, then everything is quite different. It becomes amazing. Not only do all your senses become more wide awake, not only do you feel almost as if you're walking on air, but you see, finally, that there is no duality, no difference between the ordinary world and the nirvana world. They're the same world, but what makes the difference is the point of view. And of course, if you keep identifying yourself with some sort of stable entity that sits and watches the world go by, you don't acknowledge your union, your inseparatability from everything that there is. You go by with all the rest of the things, but if you insist on trying to take a permanant stand, on trying to be a permanant witness of the flux, then it grates against you, and you feel very uncomfortable.
But it is a fundamental feeling in most of us that we are such witnesses. We feel that behind the stream of our thoughts, of our feelings, of our experiences, there is something which is the thinker, the feeler, and the experiencer. Not recognizing that that is itself a thought, feeling, or experiece, and it belongs within and not outside the changing panorama of experience. It's what you call a cue signal. In other words, when you telephone, and your telephone conversation is being tape recorded, it's the law that there shall be a beep every so many seconds, and that beep cues you in to the fact that this conversation is recorded. So in a very similar way, in our everyday experience there's a beep which tells us this is a continuous experience which is mine. Beep!
In the same way, for example, it is a cue signal when a composer arranges some music, and he keeps in it a recurrent theme, but he makes many variations on it. That, or more subtle still, he keeps within it a consistent style, so you know that it's Mozart all the way along, because that sounds like Mozart. But there isn't, as it were, a constant noise going all the way through to tell you it's continuous, although, in Hindu music, they do have something called the drone. There is, behind all the drums and every kind of singing, and it always sounds the note which is the tonic of the scale being used. But in Hindu music, that drone represents the eternal self, the brahman, behind all the changing forms of nature. But that's only a symbol, and to find out what is eternal--you can't make an image of it; you can't hold on to it. And so it's psychologically more condusive to liberation to remember that the thinker, or the feeler, or the experiencer, and the experiences are all together. They're all one. But, if out of anxiety, you try to stabilize, keep permanant, the separate observer, you are in for conflict.
Of course, the separate observer, the thinker of the thoughts, is an abstraction which we create out of memory. We think of the self, the ego, rather, as a repository of memories, a kind of safety deposit box, or record, or filing cabinet place where all our experiences are stored. Now, that's not a very good idea. It's more that memory is a dynamic system, not a storage system. It's a repitition of rhythyms, and these rhythyms are all part and parcel of the ongoing flow of present experience. In other words, first of all, how do you distinguish between something known now, and a memory? Actually, you don't know anything at all until you remember it. Because if something happens that is purely instantaneous--if a light flashes, or, to be more accurate, if there is a flash, lasting only one millionth of a second, you probably wouldn't experience it, because it wouldn't give you enough time to remember it.
We say in customary speech, 'Well, it has to make an impression.' So in a way, all present knowledge is memory, because you look at something, and for a while the rods and cones in your retina respond to that, and they do their stuff--jiggle, jiggle, jiggle--and so as you look at things, they set up a series of echoes in your brain. And these echoes keep reverberating, because the brain is very complicated. But you then see--first of all, everything you know is remembered, but there is a way in which we distinguish between seeing somebody here now, and the memory of having seen somebody else who's not here now, but whom you did see in the past, and you know perfectly well, when you remember that other person's face, it's not an experience of the person being here. How is this? Because memory signals have a different cue attached to them than present time signals. They come on a different kind of vibration. Sometimes, however, the wiring gets mixed up, and present experiences come to us with a memory cue attached to them, and then we have what is called a _deja vu_ experience: we're quite sure we've experienced this thing before.
But the problem that we don't see, don't ordinarily recognize, is that although memory is a series of signals with a special kind of cue attached to them so we don't confuse them with present experience, they are actually all part of the same thing as present experience, they are all part of this constantly flowing life process, and there is no separate witness standing aside from the process, watching it go by. You're all involved in it.
Now, accepting that, you see, going with that, although at first it sounds like the knell of doom, is if you don't clutch it anymore, splended. That's why I said death should be occasion for a great celebration, that people should say 'Happy death!' to you, and always surround death with joyous rites, because this is the opportunity for the greatest of all experiences, when you can finally let go because you know there's nothing else to do.
There was a _kamikaze_ pilot who escaped because his plane that he was flying at an American aircraft carrier went wrong, and he landed in the water instead of hitting the plane, so he survived. But he said afterwards that he had the most extraordinary state of exaltation. It wasn't a kind of patriotic ecstasy, but the very though that in a moment he would cease to exist--he would just be gone--for some mysterious reason that he couldn't understand, made him feel absolutely like a god. And when I talk to a certain German sage whose name is Count Van Derkheim[?], he said that during the war this happened to people again and again and again. He said they heard the bombs screaming down over their heads, and knew this was the last moment, or that they were in a concentration camp with absolutely no hope of getting out, or that they were displaced in such a way that their whole career was shattered. He said in each of these cases, when anybody accepted the situation as totally inevitable, they suddenly got this amazing kind of enlightenment experience of freedom from ego. Well, they tried to explain it to their friends when it was over and everything had settled down again, and their friends said 'Well, you were under such pressure that you must have gone a little crazy.' But Van Derkheim said 'A great deal of my work is to reassure these people that in that moment there was a moment of truth, and they really saw how things are.'
Well then, in Buddhist philosophy, this sort of annihilation of oneself, this acceptance of change is the doctrine of the world as the void. This doctrine did not emerge very clearly, very prominantly, in Buddhism until quite a while after Guatama the buddha had lived. We begin to find this, though, becoming prominant about the year 100 BC, and by 200 AD, it had reached its peak. And this was developed by the Mahayana Buddhists, and it is the doctrine of a whole class of literature which goes by this complex name: _prajna-paramita_. Now 'prajna' means 'wisdom.' 'Paramita,' a crossing over, or going beyond, and there is a small prajna-paramita sutra, a big prajna-paramita sutra, and then there's a little short summary of the whole thing called the Heart Sutra, and that is recited by Buddhists all over Northern Asia, Tibet, China, and Japan, and it contains the saying 'that which is void is precisely the world of form, that which is form is precisely the void.' Form is emptiness, emptiness is form, and so on, and it elaborates on this theme. It's very short, but it's always chanted at important Buddhist ceremonies. And so, it is supposed by scholars of all kinds who have a missionary background that the Buddhists are nihilists, that they teach that the world is really nothing, there isn't anything, and that there seems to be something is purely an illusion. But of course this philosophy is much more subtle than that.
The main person who is responsible for developing and maturing this philosophy was Nagarjuna, and he lived about 200 AD. One of the most astonishing minds that the human race has ever produced. And the name of Nagarjuna's school of thought is _Madhyamika_, which means, really, 'the doctrine of the middle way.' But it's sometimes also called 'the doctrine of emptiness,' or _Sunyavada_, from the basic world 'sunya,' or sometimes 'sunya' has 'ta' added on the end, and that 'ta' means 'ness'--'emptiness.'
Well, then, first of all, emptiness means, essentially, 'transience,' that's the first thing it means. Nothing to grasp, nothing permanant, nothing to hold on to. But it means this with special reference to ideas of reality, ideas of god, ideas of the self, the brahman, anything you like. What it means is that reality escapes all concepts. If you say there is a god, that is a concept; if you say there is no god, that's a concept. And Nagarjuna is saying that always your concepts will prove to be attempts to catch water in a sieve, or wrap it up in a parcel. So he invented a method of teaching Buddhism which was an extention of the dialectic method that the buddha himself first used. And this became the great way of studying, especially at the University of Nalanda[?], which has been reestablished in modern times, but of course it was destroyed by the Muslims when they invaded India. The University of Nalanda, where the dialectic method of enlightenment was taught.
The dialectic method is perfectly simple; it can be done with an individual student and a teacher, or with a group of students and a teacher, and you would be amazed how effective it is when it involves precious little more than discussion. Some of you no doubt have attended tea groups, blab-blab-blabs, or whatever they're called, things of that kind, in which people are there, and they don't know quite why they're there, and there's some sort of so- called resource person to disturb them. And after a while they get the most incredible emotions. Somebody tries to dominate the discussion of the group, say, and then the group kind of goes into the question of why he's trying to dominate it, and so on and so forth. Well, these were the original blab-blabs, and they have been repeated in modern times with the most startling effects. That is to say, the teacher gradually elicits from his participant students what are their basic premises of life. What is your metaphisic, in the sense--I'm not using metaphysic in a kind of spiritual sense, but what are your basic assumptions? What real ideas do you operate on as to what is right and what is wrong, what is the good life and what is not. What arguments are you going to argue strongest? Where do you take your stand? The teacher soon finds this out, for each individual concerned, and then he demolishes it. He absolutely takes away that person's compass. And so they start getting very frightened, and say to the teacher, 'All right, I see now, of course I can't depend on this, but what should I depend on?' And unfortunately, the teacher doesn't offer any alternative suggestions, but simply goes on to examine the question, Why do you think you have to have something to depend on? Now, this is kept up over quite a period, and the only thing that keeps the students from going insane is the presence of the teacher, who seems to be perfectly happy, but isn't proposing any ideas. He's only demolishing them.
So we get, finally, but not quite finally, to the void, the sunya, and what then? Well, when you get to the void, there is an enormous and unbelievable sense of relief. That's nirvana. 'Whew!', as I gave a proper English translation of nirvana. So they are liberated, and yet, they can't quite say why or what it is they found out, so they call it the void. But Nagarjuna went on to say 'You mustn't cling to the void.' You have to void the void. And so the void of nonvoid is the great state, as it were, of Nagarjuna's Buddhism. But you must remember that all that has been voided, all that has been denied, are those concepts in which one has hither to attempted to pin down what is real.
In Zen Buddhist texts, they say 'You cannot nail a peg into the sky.' And so, to be a man of the sky, a man of the void, is also called 'a man not depending on anything.' And when you're not hung on anything, you are the only thing that isn't hung on anything, which is the universe, which doesn't hang, you see. Where would it hang? It has no place to fall on, even though it may be dropping; there will never be the crash of it landing on a concrete floor somewhere. But the reason for that is that it won't crash below because it doesn't hang above. And so there is a poem in Chinese which speaks of such a person as having above, not a tile to cover the head; below, not an inch of ground on which to stand.
And you see, this which to people like us, who are accustomed to rich imageries of the divine--the loving father in heaven, who has laid down the eternal laws, oh word of god incarnate, oh wisdom from above, oh truth unchanged unchanging, oh light of life and love. Then how does it go on? Something about he's written it all in the bible, the wisdom from which the hallowed page, a lantern for our footsteps, shines out from age to age. See, so that's very nice. We feel we know where we are, and that it's all been written down, and that in heaven the lord god resplendant with glory, with all the colors of the rainbow, with all the saints and angels around, and everything like that. So we feel that's positive, that we've got a real rip-roaring gutsy religion full of color and so on. But it doesn't work that way.
The more clear your image of god, the less powerful it is, because you're clinging to it, the more it's an idol. But voiding it completely isn't going to turn it into what you think of as void. What would you think of as void? Being lost in a fog, so that it's white all around, and you can't see in any direction. Being in the darkness. Or the color of your head as perceived by your eyes. That's probably the best illustration that we would think of as a void, because it isn't black, it isn't white, it isn't anything. But that's still not the void. Take the lesson from the head. How does your head look to your eyes? Well, I tell you, it looks like what you see out in front of you, because all that you see out in front of you is how you feel inside your head. So it's the same with this.
And so, for this reason, the great sixth patriarch, Hui-Neng, in China, said it was a great mistake for those who are practicing Buddhist meditation to try to make their minds empty. And a lot of people tried to do that. They sat down and tried to have no thoughts whatsoever in their minds. Not only no thoughts, but no sense experiences, so they'd close their eyes, they'd plug up their ears, and generally go into sensory deprivation. Well, sensory deprivation, if you know how to handle it, can be quite interesting. It'll have the same sort of results as taking LSD or something like that, and there are special labs nowdays where you can be sensorily deprived to an amazing degree.
But if you're a good yogi this doesn't bother you at all, sends some people crazy. But if you did this world, you can have a marvelous time in a sensory deprivation scene. Also, especialy, if they get you into a condition of weightlessness. Skin divers, going down below a certain number of feet--I don't know exactly how far it is--get a sense of weightlessness, and at the same time this deprives them of every sense of responsibility. They become alarmingly happy, and they have been known to simply take off their masks and offer them to a fish. And of course they then drown. So if you skin dive, you have to keep your eye on the time. You have to have a water watch or a friend who's got a string attached to you. If you go down that far, and at a certain specific time you know you have got to get back, however happy you feel, and however much inclined you feel to say 'Survival? Survival? Whatever the hell's the point of that?' And this is happening to the men who go out into space. They increasingly find that they have to have automatic controls to bring them back. Quite aside that they can't change in any way from the spaceship, because once you become weightless... Now isn't that interesting?
Can you become weightless here? I said a little while ago that the person who really accepts transience begins to feel weightless. When Suzuki was asked what was it like to have experienced satori, enlightenment, he said it's just like ordinary everyday experience, but about two inches off the ground. Juan-Za[?], the Taoist, once said 'It is easy enough to stand still, the difficulty is to walk without touching the ground.' Now why do you feel so heavy? It isn't just a matter of gravitation and weight. It is that you feel that you are carrying your body around. So there is a koan in Zen Buddhism, 'Who is it that carries this corpse around?' Common speech expresses this all of the time: 'life is a drag.' 'I feel like I'm just dragging myself around.' 'My body is a burden to me.' To whom? To whom? That's the question. When there is no body left for whom the body can be a burden, then the body isn't a burden. But so long as you fight it, it is.
So then, when there is no body left to resist the thing that we call change, which is simply another word for 'life,' and when we dispel the illusion that we think our thoughts, instead of being just a stream of thoughts, and that we feel our feelings, instead of being just feelings--it's like saying, you know, 'To feel the feelings' is a redundant expression. It's like saying 'Actually, I hear sounds,' for there ARE no sounds which are not heard. Hearing is sound. Seeing is sight. You don't see sights. Sight-seeing is a ridiculous word! You could say just either 'sighting,' or 'seeing,' one or the other, but SIGHT-seeing is nonsense!
So we keep doubling our words, and this doubling--hearing sounds, seeing sights--is comparable to occilation in an electrical system where there's too much feedback. Where, you remember, in the old-fashioned telephone, where the receiver was separate from the mouthpiece, the transmitter. If you wanted to annoy someone who was abusing you on the telephone, you could make them listen to themselves by putting the receiver to the mouthpiece. But it actually didn't have that effect; it set up occilation. It started a howl that would be very, very hard on the ears. Same way if you turn a television camera at the monitor--that is to say, the television set in the studio, the whole thing will start to jiggle. The visual picture will be of occillation. And the same thing happens here. When you get to think that you think your thoughts, the you standing aside the thoughts has the same sort of consequence as seeing double, and then you think 'Can I observe the thinker thinking the thoughts?' Or, 'I am worried, and I ought not to worry, but because I can't stop worrying, I'm worried that I worry.' And you see where that could lead to. It leads to exactly the same situation that happens in the telephone, and that is what we call anxiety, trembling.
But his discipline that we're talking about of Nagarjuna's abolishes anxiety because you discover that no amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that's going to happen. In other words, from the first standpoint, the worst is going to happen: we're all going to die. And don't just put it off in the back of your mind and say 'I'll consider that later.' It's the most important thing to consider NOW, because it is the mercy of nature, because it's going to enable you to let go and not defend yourself all the time, waste all energies in self-defense.
So this doctrine of the void is really the basis of the whole Mahayana movement in Buddhism. It's marvelous. The void is, of course, in Buddhist imagery, symbolized by a mirror, because a mirror has no color and yet reflects all colors. When this man I talked of, Hui-Neng, said that you shouldn't just try to cultivate a blank mind, what he said was this: the void, sunyata, is like space. Now, space contains everything--the mountains, the oceans, the stars, the good people and the bad people, the plants, the animals, everything. The mind in us--the true mind--is like that. You will find that when Buddhists use the word 'mind'--they've several words for 'mind,' but I'm not going into the technicality at the moment-- they mean space. See, space is your mind. It's very difficult for us to see that because we think we're IN space, and look out at it. There are various kinds of space. There's visual space--distance-- there is audible space--silence--there is temporal space--as we say, between times--there is musical space--so-called distance between intervals, or distance between tones, rather; quite a different kind of space than temporal or visual space. There's tangible space. But all these spaces, you see, are the mind. They're the dimensions of consciousness.
And so, this great space, which every one of us aprehends from a slightly different point of view, in which the universe moves, this is the mind. So it's represented by a mirror, because although the mirror has no color, it is for that reason able to receive all the different colors. Meister Eckhardt[?] said 'In order to see color, my eye has to be free from color.' So in the same way, in order not only to see, but also to hear, to think, to feel, you have to have an empty head. And the reason why you are not aware of your brain cells--you're only aware of your brain cells if you get a tumor or something in the brain, when it gets sick--but in the ordinary way, you are totally unconscious of your brain cells; they're void. And for that reason you see everything else.
So that's the central principle of the Mahayana, and it works in such a way, you see, that it releases people from the notion that Buddhism is clinging to the void. This was very important when Buddhism went into China. The Chinese really dug this, because Chinese are a very practical people, and when they found these Hindu Buddhist monks trying to empty their minds and to sit perfectly still and not to engage in any family activities--they were celibates--Chinese thought they were crazy. Why do that? And so the Chinese reformed Buddhism, and they allowed Buddhist priests to marry. In fact, what they especially enjoyed was a sutra that came from India in which a layman was a wealthy merchant called Vimalakirti outargued all the other disciples of buddha. And of course, you know these dialectic arguments are very, very intense things. If you win the argument, everybody else has to be your disciple. So Vimalakirti the layman won the debate, even with Manjustri[?], who is the bodhisattva of supreme wisdom. They all had a contest to define the void, and all of them gave their definitions. Finally Manjustri gave his, and Vimalakirti was asked for his definition, and he said nothing, and so he won the whole argument. 'The thunderous silence.'
So Chinese and Japanese Buddhism is very strongly influenced by that trend that the void and form are the same. This is a very favorite subject for Zen masters and people who like to write. The void precisely is form. And they do this with great flourishes of caligraphy on the big sheets of paper. I'll show you some; I've got some for the seminar after next. But you see, this is not a denial of the world; it's not a putdown idea. To say that this world is diaphanous as, to use Shakespeare's phrase, an insubstantial pageant, is really to get into the heart of its glory.
Alan Watts at deoxy.org